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Steal This Book Today (Alpha 0.01) Vol I Copyright 2008 released under the GNU FDL Photos and drawings from US Military, National Archives,…


Steal This Book Today (Alpha 0.01) Vol I Copyright 2008 released under the GNU FDL Photos and drawings from US Military, National Archives, Wikimedia, and Steal This Wiki Project Introduction "I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." - Thomas Jefferson I’ve never been one for hippies. I don’t mean hippies as a name, because, of course, Abbie Hoffman was a Yippie, not a Hippie. But as a generation, I have always thought, the youth movement of the late sixties and early seventies, most commonly referred to as the hippies, have failed this nation greatly. Those young men and women back then had tremendous courage. They risked their freedom and often their lives in order to force our government and our country to have to recognize decency and intelligence. It’s not right that our government had to be forced into such seemingly common decency, and up until a few years ago, we seemed surprised that our elected officials and decent American citizens could ever have been so wrong. And yet, here we are again. When I was growing up in ordinary suburban America in the nineteen eighties, I idolized the everyman players of the sixties. Wavy Gravy, Bobby Seale, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, etc. I listened to The Who, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Dylan, The Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, Neil Young, Crosby, Stills and Nash. I read every Doonesbury comic strip since the ones published at his Yale newspaper while he was a student there. I was also fascinated with the history of the war in Vietnam. This fascination was recognized and possibly validated when my mother offered to take me to see Oliver Stone’s “Platoon.” I read First Blood, and one of the first courses I took during my freshman year at the University at Buffalo was a third-year course called “The Literature of Vietnam.” And it wasn’t just me. Everywhere we looked, we found sixties nostalgia madness. But it turns out that it really was simply cultural nostalgia. Where are the hippies now? I don't mean, let's blame them because they are old and aren't on the cutting edge anymore. But, seriously, I can tell you where the hippies are. They are driving Volvos and living in McMansions. They are investing heavily in the stock market upon which Mr. Hoffman and his gang threw money back in the day. "All You Need Is Love" is featured in an ad for moneymaking credit cards. George W. Bush grew up in the sixties, and, make no mistake, the baby boomers are the ones who voted for him, by and large. This largest generation has given us Enron and the war in Iraq. It's not just the administration, either. It's CEOs, it's false charities, it's a horrible tax system. By now, 30 years after Vietnam, our country should be enjoying the wealth of insight provided by the youth of that era. Instead, we wallow in what has nearly become a failed empire. We don't want to be an empire in the first place, and I thought, neither did the hippies. And yet, here we are. I see a nation in profound jeopardy of losing its very point of existing. Despite the failure of the hippies to provide many enduring changes, I find myself looking back to that very youth movement for inspiration. Granted, it’s simply a different world these days, and in many wonderful ways. It’s easier to get from sea to shining sea these days, and even less necessary. The Internet connects us with people in Australia, Egypt and Norway. We have to embrace our world, this one we live in, not look back or ahead too far. We have to focus on the now. we can't change the past, we can't dwell on the future. But we can improve the future by listening to ourselves now, by always making the right decision, by always standing up for the very real things that we believe in. So instead of ruing the changes in technology and culture, we should be ruing the changes in our freedoms. Our technology has grown, our culture has created new traditions, but our freedoms have been squeezed, our intelligence has been insulted, and our lives have been threatened. And I don’t mean by the terrorists. Let me tell you a story about the terrorists. I was in the hallway of my lower Manhattan office building on the morning of September 11 when the second plane hit the World Trade Center. It seemed the whole building shook, and it sounded like a bomb went off right downstairs. We had known that a plane had hit the north tower a few minutes earlier, but with the impact of that second hit all the resonance of its meaning dropped like half a million tons of bricks. At that instant we didn’t simply guess, but we knew that we were under some serious attack. I saw for myself the south tower collapse – I had to sprint to outrun the rolling ten story wall of dust. I had staff who lost family and friends. I breathed in toxic dust for months serving Guiliani and Bush and the federal administration in their effort to get things “back to normal so the terrorists don’t win.” Ever since then, our administration has done nothing except highlight the obvious differences in our daily lives and try to take advantage of us because of them. What have we had since that day? Since that day they insisted that everything was ever and for always going to be all right? We were introduced to the Patriot Act. Hundreds of millions of dollars were sunk into Halliburton. We were lied to, baldfaced and criminally, about the military knowledge of a small country in the middle of the desert, despite what I knew when I was growing up, that the United States knew where every silo well was, where every truck moved, within the secretive and high-tech military complex of the Soviet Union, twenty-five years ago. Children, young and old, have been murdered by mechanical weapons aimed by presidents of corporations. Law-abiding groups have been spied on, their rights violated. Freedom of the press has been compromised and directly and openly attacked by our government. Our poorest and most in need were completely and arrogantly ignored by the government and corporations and yet at the same time attacked by right-wing media for having ever been on welfare. Where were the huge corporations coming up with advertisements about how much they’ve donated to Katrina victims? I know I’ve seen that one about Halliburton in the desert… The economic wealth of America, earned on the shoulders of millions of hard-working citizens, is almost completely in the hands of a privileged and deceptive few. Our young men are being recruited into a capitalistic war, and are dying for the government’s betrayal of their patriotic sensibilities. People have been refused their right to vote, including women and blacks, who, even postfirst revolution, had to die in order to gain the right. And the best critical commentary comes from The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Saturday Night Live, each and all simply comedy shows, filmed in closed studios and vomiting cash to the conglomerate owners. A major part of our actual and existing workforce was declared illegal after decades of implied legality. The control that religious fanaticism has over social and political control hasn’t been this strong in Western Civilization since the thirteen-hundreds, having somehow ignorantly leapfrogged centuries of scientific and philosophical discoveries. And speaking of science, we have scientific proof now that our government and economic leaders are full of blinded and drunk medieval monks. Our planet is melting and instead of being a forest fire of global proportions, it’s been rendered by our system into a lobbyist political capitalistic propaganda game. Now look at this. Nations firing ultra-modern technological warfare as well as muddy and rusty incoming mortar shells at the children and homes of other nations, well-armed militaries killing each others’ civilians. And we complain a lot about the news, and rightly so. But we are also very informed, albeit restrictedly so. Even though our citizens are listening to biased information, they are really sitting in front of their televisions, ain't they? So in that way, our nation has never been more involved. They fucked us up pretending that we could prove everything was all right for them. Now they're fucking us up by pretending that nothing will ever be all right again. The only thing that hasn’t changed since 9/11 is that the government is still fucking us up. And now they even want to restrict this new technology that is bringing people together, facilitating the communication of the everyman. Even this, even now, the majority of citizens of America are being pushed back upon. They’re pushing back, pushing back, and how much is even left behind us anymore? So, why this? From someone who thinks the hippies betrayed us, from someone who experienced first-hand the deadly nightmare of international terrorism? AND WHY ARE YOU WRITING ABOUT HOW TO MAKE A BOMB?!?!?! Because we need it. Those most harmed by this new way of America life are the ones least able to communicate anything. The rich are fewer and more removed from the rest of the real world than they’ve ever been. Look, man, we don’t want to hurt anybody here. But our government doesn’t want many of us to live. But our government is killing its poorest citizens, whether it be in New Orleans, Baghdad or a moth-eaten sleeping bag in a New York City alleyway, in the alleyway of any American city. I may not agree with every bit of reference in this book, but that is why I’m involved in it. I may not hold values identical to each contributing writer or editor, and in some ways may differ critically, but that is why I’m involved in it, and that is why they are involved in it, too. This isn't about promoting one of those –isms, one of those broad beliefs. This isn't about promoting socialism or communism or capitalism or ism ism ism ism ism. This is about helping fellow citizens who, for a number of reasons and coming from a billion different points of view, feel the need for change. Dramatic change. But not a change to simply one thing, one ism or one source of cash. Rather a change to the one original thing, the set of ideas that America was founded upon. The things we want are not new or revolutionary. That this can be considered revolutionary is an (appropriate) insult to our social, political and economic leaders in the first place, and it’s also an insult to us, rightly so. Here is another not very new idea: citizens have not only the ability but also the responsibility to change things when they are not going well. That is something straight from Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. So this thing we’re in, it’s a thing of all of us. Yours, mine, theirs. And I don’t think they’re going to do anything about it, seeing as it fits them so well. It’s not us you have to worry about, it’s them. If you’re poor, you have to worry about them. If you’re a minority, you have to worry about them. If you live paycheck to paycheck, you have to worry about them. If you have children, you have to worry about them. If you like something they don’t like, you have to worry about them. If you believe something they don’t believe in, you have to worry about them. If you don’t have health insurance, you have to worry about them. If you don’t know your rights, you have to worry about them. But they have one big problem that we don’t have. They have a lot more to lose. They have everything. They own us. Love live the revolutions, and may god bless America. Aiding and Abetting Thanks to: Dozens of Anonymous Contributors, Ploney the Expat, Unidyne, J! of the Dumpstered, J.D. from South Carolina, Ryan Libberator, Zeerahks O'Connelley, Jacob the Mad, Jonathan M. Taylor, The Jacob Holtan, Sketchy, Jimmy McSqueeze, Jeffrey R Glenn, Jake Blohnson, Sean Hogan (firsty), Trevor Ruggles, El Almirante, Captain.telnet, Doctormatt, Moonmaiden103, Michael Davis (manintweed), E.R. the gun nut, Jedite (Jedite83 & the Hacker Labs), vov35, Mill Creek "HIGH", vannieplustwo, recursive Thanks To: Neal Stephenson-for HEAP and the Future, The EFF and TOR, CBLDF, Scroogle, Linus Torvalds, Tim Berners-Lee, Tom Jennings and FidoNet, Internet nerds, free WiFi, full dumpsters, donated laptops and PDA's, bicycles, people who stop for hitch-hikers, folks that feed street people, whiskey-drinking radicals who founded the USA, AIM indigenous movement, old Black Panthers who won't talk, veterans of the Back-To-The-Land movement, IWW then and now, Joe Hill, Eugene V. Debs, hardware hackers, Cory Doctorow's bitchun society, whuffie economy, war dialers and drivers, rebba and talmedem, those who voided the warranty, old Elmers, expats, bloggers, pirates, Jessica Sideways, The Magna Carta, Berry Cooper, Frank Zappa, "Don't tase me bro", homebrews, months in the wilderness, getting fired, disappointed and proud parents, annoyed but loving partners, ADD kids, stupid mistakes, George Orwell's 1984, duct tape, Bram Cohen and Bittorrent, Multimachine, no rent money, cool teachers, forever role models, pranksters (Cassady most of all), Ti Jean, J.R. "Bob" Dobbs, geeks and trolls, 300 Baud BBS's, multi-tools, soldering irons, Swiss Army knives, TRS-80, Amiga & Commodore 64/128, BASIC & COBOL, prohibition moonshiners, Seth Tobocman, Peter Kuper, Eric Drooker, Pete Seeger & the Weavers, Holly Near, Free Tre Arrow, D.B. Cooper, web 2.0, feeders, barbers, Robert Anton Wilson, Dr. Thompson, Usenet, performance-enhancing substances, Guy Fawkes, Open Source, the Tank Man of Tiananmen Square, Michael Hoy, Claire Wolfe, most of the Dharma, neighbors and more, Noam Chomsky, Axis of Justice, the Coup, Phreakers, Rage Against the Machine and other leftist bands, and especially Abbie for the first edition, RepubliCrats making back-room deals, Dick and Bush in the White House for making this necessary and CorpGov for being a motivator. Who are we? We're libertarians, anarchists, socialists, pacifists, vegetarians, black, white, Asian, Hispanic. To get to the basics of it, however: We are the vocal minority of the silent majority. As of this writing, there is an enormous part of our population greatly dissatisfied with not only the mistakes of our current administration, but also with the direction the country is heading -- Amerika is being lead by lobbyists, corporations and otherwise immoral, greedy and deceptive parties. Many see the nation going down the path of a Big Brother state: where the government keeps tabs on you and determines what you can and cannot see/do. We're the ones looking to change that, we hope you are too. No matter what, however, the important thing is this: whatever revolution or lifestyle you hope to be a part of has to be started by you. When you know in your heart what you're doing is right and true, not even the most brutal opposition or secure jail cell can stop you. What the Book is NOT This is not The Anarchist Cookbook. The information in this site is not designed for senseless vandalism, theft, or "just watching shit blow up". This project was started by a pacifist who does not advocate violent methods of change. Using the information here for purposeless nonsense is downright stupid. The main intent of this book is to provide the skills to either peacefully bring the change we need or to survive in an oppressed and impoverished new America. Something else worth noting is that people these days seem to want to put a label on things. This book is not promoting a liberal, conservative or anarchist agenda...and it never will. It simply promotes what each and every one of us believes is our idea of a perfect world, and how to get to it with practical advice. What may be one person's Anarcho-capitalist dream is another's Communist society. Each and every one of us feels an obligation to make our world more livable and create information for everyone to see on how to get to that moment. So, if you must put a label on this site, call it "idealist". We're not out to convince you to join our "cult", nor are we here to push our divergent beliefs on others. It may seem hokey and unrealistic to some, but some of the best inventions and social movements had those stigmas attached to them for decades. Table of Contents • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Introduction..............................................3 Aiding and Abetting ................................6 Who are we? ...........................................7 Security Culture .....................................10 Free Food ...............................................15 Cheap Chow ..........................................17 Restaurants ............................................33 Food Programs ......................................35 Supermarkets .........................................35 Wholesale Markets ................................39 Food Conspiracies ..................................39 Roadkill ..................................................40 Farm It ....................................................41 Free Clothing .........................................46 Free Furniture ........................................47 Free Shelter ............................................52 The Street ..............................................53 Low Impact Crashing ............................60 Free Land ..............................................72 Backpacking and Camping ...................73 Urban Living .........................................92 Rural Living ..........................................93 Squatting, Survival Without Rent..........96 Communes ............................................111 Free Transportation ...............................114 Pack your bag .......................................114 Hitchhiking ...........................................125 Cycling .................................................127 Freighting .............................................136 Cars ......................................................137 Buses ....................................................143 Airlines .................................................144 In City Travel .......................................148 Sail Away .............................................149 Survive! What do humans need to survive? Oxygen, Body Warmth, Water, Food, Freedom, Love, Fun. Security Culture Security Culture is the most powerful tool to keep us in the fight. The cops have their spies and they are ready to use them to defame, fracture, jail, and intimidate our movement. Keep all groups small and intimate, alone is best, three is a the number to never exceed for actions, group up several threes for very big action if you must, but don't use these groupings for civil disobedience. Try to form affinity groups only with those you have known for many years. Main points: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • NEVER BRAG about past actions! NEVER USE NAMES when planning action! Only discuss action with those who NEED TO KNOW! After an action NEVER DISCUSS with OUTSIDERS! NEVER ADMIT anything to the authorities even for a deal when they claim others have ratted out! NEVER LIE about being in on an action or your part in an action! Keep involved members to a VERY SMALL group! ONLY work with a TRUSTED affinity GROUP! ONLY ALLOW those who would NEVER rat out the group INTO a TRUSTED affinity GROUP! ONLY DISCUSS action in OPEN AREAS with background noise! NEVER discuss action in HOMES, KNOWN MEETING AREAS, or CARS! If busted use your right to REMAIN SILENT! If busted NEVER ARGUE or try to EXPLAIN yourself! NEVER! NEVER! NEVER! RAT out another activist! Be extra CAUTIOUS with a ROMANTIC or SEXUAL PARTNER! NEVER TRUST electronic ENCRYPTION or codes alone to keep your communication safe! This page is formatted for use as a poster. For the full book see Copyright 2008 released under the GNU Free Document License A big thanks to our fellow travelers at for using a copyright the same as ours. A large part of what follows is from material on their site with our contributions and edits. Electronic Communication A little story: I worked with a direct action group in ****** known as *****. One member of ***** who was new and did not know the protocols of security culture sent out an e-mail that indirectly implicated specific members of the group in an action that had happened in the area. His e-mail resulted in four arrests. Two people went to jail for six months. E-mail is never safe. Ever. Listservs especially are monitored daily by local police departments and the FBI. If you’re planning a mass direct action event, you must use a spokescouncil meeting or other face-to-face organizing strategy. Never send specifics (date, time, or location) about a direct action over e-mail. Some e-mail is more secure. Hushmail provides encrypted e-mail service for its users that can be more secure than regular e-mail, and using an encryption program like PGP can greatly increase your security, but remember that Hushmail and any other email provider will give the private key and email contents to the terror cops with a just a phone call, no warrant needed, thanks (anti)Patriot Act. Keep your private PGP encryption key block private and ready to securely delete and overwrite, not on any providers server! Even with what you think is good hard crypto it’s never a good idea to talk about specifics over e-mail. Keep any discussion of direct action extremely vague, and never give the location and time. So you get up every day looking for your chance to make your voice heard. Where do you look? Why, Indymedia, infoshop and, of course! Well guess what? Someone else is reading those websites too. Never trust any kind of encryption, all codes are eventually broken, they are only meant to slow down the opposing side!! There is one kind of encryption that so far if perfectly executed is unbreakable. The trade off is that key exchanges and getting sufficiently random numbers are more involved. This type of encryption is known as a One-Time Pad These can either be done with a ten sided dice shaken in a cup or a bingo number drum, a pencil and paper, or with a computer program although computer generated pads are sometimes later found to not be truly random and can then be cracked. The general idea with a OTP is that both the sender and the receiver have a set of "pads" filled with random data. Sending a message takes one "pad", which is then destroyed. This is the big tradeoff with OTPs: obviously, the unused pads must be kept secret, just like any other encryption key, but the used pads have to be disposed of properly, too. (Carefully burned if paper, securely deleted and overwritten if electronic.) Make sure you know what you're doing if you use this method. Web Sites The State reads protest websites all the time. Why War’s website has received hits from most branches of the military. If you post specific details about a direct action on the Internet, you can expect there to be cops there when you show up. I believe, The best way to organize is to call a spokescouncil meeting and post the information on Indymedia. Always remember that everything you say on the Internet is there forever. Don’t make jokes. Even visually representing an attack on the president has cost one person a visit from the Secret Service. Identity Assume everyone is a cop. I am a cop. You are a cop. The only people you can assume are not cops is your mother (unless she is a cop) and your affinity group. If someone e-mails you saying they are from one group or another, they are a cop. (Not necessarily, in fact, probably not, but you need to treat them like they are.) Especially on the Internet, you can never assume anyone is who they claim they are. Nothing is less secure than the Internet, where anyone can read anything you say at any time. Still, after the passing of the Patriot Act, phones are not secure. They tapped our phones in Boston. The ACLU has its phones tapped. It’s not that rare. Using cell phones to communicate at an action seems like a really good idea, and it can be. But cell phones are easily monitored, and the special operations cops have the ability to monitor cell phones in a certain area. So don’t say, “Swarm the corner of 33rd and 5th!” Plan everything out ahead of time, and be able to say, “Are you coming?” and have everyone know what that means. Phones For immediate actions, the phone can be fairly secure, if you can act before the police can react. However, unless you are using a pay phone, this leaves your name implicated with whatever action you do. In general treat a pay phone as if someone were listing. Never give specifics. There are ways to know if your phones are tapped, if you really want to know, but it’s best always just to assume that they are. Many pay-phones are tapped in accordance with the PATRIOT Act. The police also have the ability to listen to you through your phone even if you are not on the phone at that moment. They have to the technology to do this unless your phone is unplugged. This is why prepay cellphones are popular with the ignorant activist, unfortunately they are incredibly easy to track, much more dangerous than a pay phone. Fear Perhaps the easiest (and most detrimental) time for security culture to break down is in the heat of a protest when the police begin their repression tactics. You see your friends being taken away by police and its your first instinct to call out to them. Or perhaps the group you are marching with shatters and you feel the need to remind everyone of where your preplanned re-convergence space is. As an aside remember to walk not run at any group march, even in a serious retreat, running can be the start of a stampede which can kill many activists. Names Don’t use people’s names at a direct action protest. If you want, come up with aliases or something, but concealing your identity from the authorities is important. You might not think they are listening, but they are. Another story: at a peace rally in ****town, the local radical groups held a spokescouncil meeting at the beginning of the rally to decide when we were going to break away from the main march. In the middle of our meeting, we were surrounded by police who then walked with us the entire way. Appearance Don’t look sketchy. If you’re having a spokescouncil meeting in a public place, take off your bandannas! Put away the red and black banners, steal a “Peace is Patriotic” sign from a nearby liberal, whatever. Increasingly, the cops are targeting radical groups for arrest and “special treatment” (i.e. police brutality.) Black flags and radical banners are all well and good, but keep them out of sight while you're planning. Some of you might be saying, “Wait, take off our bandannas? That’s such a bad plan!” In some ways, you’re correct. As I said before, concealing your identity is important. The average American is photographed 300 times a day (every time you use an ATM, get gas, go into a convenience store, pay a toll, etc.) Protests are very well monitored by video and snapshots. Masks If you are engaging in autonomous civil disobedience (not a sit-in) and you don’t plan on being arrested (i.e. you want to get away with it) you should conceal your face using a bandanna, or other cloth. Wearing a bandanna can make you a target for police, since they associate it with radicals, so only wear one if you are actually doing something illegal and concealing your identity makes sense. Gas masks and ski masks certainly conceal your identity well, but they look extremely militant, and tend to both incite police violence and frighten other protesters. Unless you plan on directly and forcibly confronting the police, I would not recommend wearing a gas mask. (If you think that there will be teargas, you can always have a pair of swim goggles and a bandanna soaked in apple cider vinegar in your pocket.) Practice Remember to practice security culture with your friends. This is the hardest aspect of security culture for many of us to perfect. You’ve just finished a successful and awesome direct action! Yay! The first thing you want to do is tell all your friends about it. Chances are, your friends won’t turn you into the cops. However, bragging/gossiping about direct action can be a chronic breach of security culture. Tips There are some things that you can’t talk about with people that you don’t know very well and on a personal basis: Your involvement or someone else’s in a specific illegal direct action. The only exception is if you have already been convicted of that action, or if you are outside the jurisdiction of where that action took place, or if significant time has passed that you cannot be prosecuted for that action. Your involvement or someone Else's in an underground group. (i.e. a group that has claimed actions for the Earth Liberation Front, etc.) Someones knowledge of an illegal direct action. Specific plans for future direct actions. With a good security culture, everyone is on a need-to-know don’t-ask-don’t-tell basis. The less you know about an action that you will not be involved in, the safer you and the people engaging in that action will be. Obviously you can discuss future actions with your affinity group, but do so in a safe place and manner. Safe Sex One of the most difficult areas of security culture exists between partners in a sexual relationship. There is an implied special bond and dissolution of barriers between those who spend their naked time together. If potentially important information is not shared there is often a feeling of betrayal. It is best from the beginning of a sexual or romantic relationship to let your significant other know there are activities you are involved in that you are unable to share, if they are really cool with the cause and secure in themselves they should understand, if not you have to choose, drop them or drop out of direct action. The problem with many relationships between activists (and ordinary people too) is that the relationship ends after a time, this sometimes gets ugly if hearts are broken. It is not an unreasonable concern that a jilted lover might even turn to the pigs or talk too openly to get revenge. Another consideration is the sellout for ransom, a person may choose to make a deal and nark out the whole organization when their lover is threatened with serious punishment where they might stand strong for themselves, the pigs are famous for this blackmail deal, done in a secret way where the significant other may never even find out. Short term relationships or even one night stands can be very dangerous, there are those cops and civilian nark types who have a kink for playing the spy while having a little naked fun in the sack with their target. Never discuss any involvement of any kind beyond generic politics at all with a short term relationship especially if it looks like trading insider info will get you sex. There is wisdom in the idea of our cells having a professional expectation of no romance between activists, this is often an unrealistic expectation, each group must decide what is acceptable. Unnecessary Criminal Activity Do not become involved in activities like shoplifting, reckless driving, or narcotics use or dealing if you are an activist. Do not permit members of your affinity group to engage in these activities either. It is already easy enough for the police to blackmail us as it is. Most busts for "domestic terrorism" are the result of shoplifting or traffic stops. Once someone has been released and heavy charges dropped it might be wise to insulate them from serious direct action as they may have made a deal and are now working for the other side in exchange for their continuing freedom. Planning When discussing plans for a radical direct action with your affinity group, do not discuss them any place that’s likely to be monitored. (i.e the place you usually meet, an activist’s car, Unitarian churches, radical bookstores, etc.) Find someplace safe for your discussion. There are some things that we as humans tend to do that can be extremely risky for us as activists. Using activism as a social device can be detrimental to security culture. There are liars: people who claim to have engaged in illegal actions in order to impress others. This is not okay. Those people are putting themselves and the people they lie to in danger by breaking security culture in this way. Bragging to your friends, I can’t emphasize enough, is dangerous. One on one, in a safe location, it is okay to talk about less radical direct actions, but only talk about secure things with people who know about security culture and won’t go and gossip it to others. This brings us to gossiping. If you’ve heard anything about a direct action that you’re not involved in, don’t say anything about it to anyone. You will jeopardize your security and the security of those planning the action. Security of Your Security Culture Security culture is not a spy game or a joke. Pretending to have an overdeveloped sense of security culture in order to impress others is no different than bragging about an action. This is not “I could tell you but I’d have to kill you.” If someone asks you a question that you don’t want to answer, or if you think someone is talking about something that they shouldn’t be talking about, just change the subject. Conclusion Before I end we should also note that there are informants out there. They infiltrate activist groups, (and sometimes even activist affinity groups) and jeopardize (intentionally) everyones security. It can be hard to distinguish between new members of a group who want to learn about what’s going on and don’t know much about security culture and infiltrators who are trying to gather enough information to have you all arrested. If you think your group may have been infiltrated, check out the Security Survival Skills guide produced by the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality. It’s the most extensive guide to security culture that I’ve found on the web and it has a section that explains how to identify counterinsurgents within the ranks. This is by no means a complete and definitive guide to security culture. Again I urge you to read the Security Survival Skills guide produced by the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality. For the purposes of Why War?, I think that this should be more than sufficient. Remember: just because we’re non-violent doesn’t meant that the police don’t see us as a threat. It also doesn’t mean that we will not be charged with violent crimes if arrested. You can be charged for assault if you even brush against a police officer, for carrying a weapon if you have a pencil, and for reckless endangerment if you hang a banner on a building. Maintaining a tight security culture is essential for creating a cohesive, safe, and effective movement based on the principals of trust and solidarity. This guide may seem harsh and paranoid, and you should always use reason, you’re probably not gonna get yourself in trouble by talking about some snake-march you participated in, but always be thinking, “Would I say this to a cop?” Free Food On this topic, we can take a pointer from one of the most incompetent examples of capitalism - the airline industry. In a 2006 pamphlet distributed to its laid-off employees, Northwest Airlines advised its newly impoverished former workers to strongly consider rifling through trash for suitable food. This was only a part of Northwest's effort to get out of bankruptcy by laying off workers, slashing wages and burning benefits. A great example of how corporate America doesn't care a bit about the people of America in its quest for an immensely profitable survival. It's true. America is the most wasteful nation in the world, in addition to consuming the most per person in the world. We're not only the fattest people around, but we also dispose of the most food. Since we're physically unable to perform the more fair tactic of actually cutting the fat from the bones of the rich, we can at least benefit from their waste. Restaurants and grocery stores commonly throw out tons of food each day, most of it still edible, as long as you're not opposed to the kind of germs you also get from opening doors to public buildings or pushing elevator buttons. Use your head when choosing food, make a calculation with every piece of food you pick up it's price nutrient and energy value ratios. Many American packaged foods loose in all but junk energy. The truly hungry must be careful to get enough calories and basic nutrients every day. Other Tips Free Drinks: Get your hands on a plastic cup from a gas station or fast-food restaurant. Swipe 'em from tables, ask for a cup of water, or surreptitiously peruse the trash bin. This guarantees you free drinks there for as long as you have the cup in good shape. Free Meals: Often, organizations (especially religious clubs) at high schools, colleges, and community centers provide free breakfasts and snacks. In some major cities, there are a few Krishna religious groups that often give out a free vegetarian meal if you sit in for a seminar (Fair warning: The food they serve can be VERY spicy!). Another route to consider is finding out if there's a Food Not Bombs group local to your area: they have huge meal servings geared towards the homeless at least once a month. Be advised the food is vegan to accommodate just about everybody, and so the quality can vary wildly: some groups have good resources for ingredients and skilled cooks that can make stuff that tastes great, while others aren't quite as lucky and/or good. Hotel Grazing: Do not forget the wondrous resource that is your local hotel. Many hotels and some motels offer complimentary breakfasts, a fact which you can use to your advantage. You should (of course) make sure that they don't check that you have a reservation (not to worry... most don't.) Once you've established that you may want to use a bit of social engineering to make sure that you can enjoy a hearty breakfast. First, like any good revolutionary, you should have your backpack/messenger bag -- go ahead and stash an extra shirt in it. Walk into the hotel, looking like you're coming in from a long night on the town (hint: it helps if you come in at around 6AM or so) and go towards your "room" (i.e. in the direction of the rooms. Now, find a laundry room, exercise room, or some other place that has both water and privacy. Change into the fresh shirt, and make use of the water to wet your hair/wash your face -- basically, make it look like you went back to your room for a quick shower and change of clothes. Stash the bag somewhere you can retrieve it later (safest option) or take it to breakfast with you (slightly riskier, but you can use it to sneak some food out.) Now wander on down to breakfast and eat your fill. Once you've chowed down, you shouldn't hang around more than a couple minutes... but don't look overly rushed. Note: dressing nicely will make this much easier to pull off. Free Pizza Pizza places are heaven for any revolutionary looking for a Friday night treat. Many times, the only effort needed to get your free pizza is check their dumpster. Most of the time there are a few pizzas employees didn't want, unfortunately most times I've checked it's always a meat lover pizza, but that can be fixed by peeling it off. One way to obtain a fresh, baked pizza the way you like it is, call in about 30 minutes before the place closes (*67), say you would like to pick up a pizza (make it a large order to insure you do get a meal) and you swear you could make it there before they close, wait till they close, and go back and get your fresh baked pizza out of the dumpster. You may have to dig through a bag to get it (follow your nose), but it's seemingly always in a box still warm. Be sure to check for employees before you go, or you may have to rely on quick legs. Free Fast Food Desperate times call for desperate measures, and sometimes you're going to have to resort to fast food. Most Chinese food places have free fortune cookies, grab a handful. If you bring your food back to the counter and say you got the wrong kind of burger, most places let you keep the burger and give you a new one to boot. FREE FOOD FOR YOUR CHURCH Here's a short quick idea that has worked before to get some free food and a good amount of it. Go around to the local food stores and bakeries and pose as a minister of a church asking for donations to your food bank. This might require talking to some managers but if you find one that has a cross on it just might work because they're usually the holy roller types that will help. Also it doesn't hurt to have a few business cards printed up to assist you with this stating that you're the minister of such and such church. Also it helps if you're rather clean cut since most ministers are and this lends more credibility to your claims. Also a shirt and tie helps in this undertaking. Also you might consider contacting the Mormons with their local RELIEF SOCIETY groups. These people function as the welfare for Mormons and give their members free food. You could contact them to see where and how in your area they are getting food for their food banks. Then tell them that you also are trying to start a food bank for your church. While they might try to convince you to join them a little bit, they are usually more than helpful because they will see you as someone who is trying to be like them in carrying out charitable work. Just an idea that you might be able to put to good use for some free grub. Cheap Chow This chapter lists tips on how to cook food for yourself, your family, your commune, your protest team, or your whole neighborhood. Also included are tips on getting ingredients or pre-cooked foods, as well as tips on living independently of the pre-packaged, super-processed existence that is the Amerikan food market. Some of these recipes are designed to easily feed many members of the underground at a low price, while other ideas here are cheap, portable, and easy to make by a rebel on the move. By avoiding packaged foods, traceback of labels and cartons is reduced, leaving less of an evidence trail, and also benefiting your health. Moreover, you reduce unnecessary use of cardboard, petroleum-based bags, and harmful inks. A Few Helpful Hints on Cooking Keep any loose clothing away from open flames, wash everything (especially your hands) that comes in contact with the food, always wash your hands after touching raw meats and eggs while cooking, use oven mitts, be careful how you handle anything sharp, keep a fire extinguisher handy, and remember that "Baking Powder" and "Baking Soda" are two completely different things. Grease and oil fires cannot be put out with water (It will actually make them worse by spreading the grease or oil over the surface of the water). If you don't have access to a fire extinguisher, be sure to keep a decent supply of baking soda on hand whenever you cook, to control these fires. If need be you can also put them out by cutting off their oxygen supply, such as placing a lid on the pan. Always be careful of your appliances. Regularly check for gas leaks, holes, stripped cords, or other hazardous malfunctions. You may also want to see Low Impact Crashing for tips on living on your own and Farm It for tips on growing your own produce. For consistency purposes, when reading the following recipes: • • • • • • • tbs represents tablespoon(s) tsp represents teaspoon(s) qt represents quart(s) gal represents gallon(s) lbs. represents pounds oz represents ounce(s) c represents cup(s) Spanish/Latin American Spanish Beans and Rice Beans and rice are complete protein food with plenty of carbohydrates and a little fat too, if this is all you can afford you will do fine, plus it packs well dry for traveling. A bit of hot sauce makes the basic recipe interesting, or... Making Spanish rice gives this complete but boring vegan food a little kick. • • • • Soak your dry beans overnight, pre-boiling while you prep the rice speeds things up Stir fry the rice until you see a little browning on the tips or edges Add tomato sauce, beans, salt, and your favorite spices Slow cook until beans are soft or pour hot into a Thermos and let the stored heat soften the beans Stinger Cooking-- Boil water using your immersion boiler in the same pot as the beans (soak them overnight if possible) keep adding water, since the stinger will boil some away, until beans are soft. If possible let the tomato sauce float in the boiling bean water to heat up. Pre-boil water and then add the same volume of rice (softening is quicker if you use converted or minute-rice). Drain the beans and add rice, tomato sauce, and spices, if possible pour into a big can floated in your pot and stinger boil the water to slow cook it, otherwise pour the mixed finished product into a Thermos(or a container wrapped in a sleeping bag) and let sit for 1/2 hour. Practice on adding ingredients and timing helps even if your first batch is a dud. Tortillas Find out if there is a Latino supermarket or open air market in your area. These types of places will often sell large amounts of tortillas in various sizes for very little money. They are tough, flexible and a good source of starch that you can wrap almost anything in. A good idea is to combine leftover foodstuff into various chili-like recipes or stir-fries and wrap them in tortillas. This also can cut down on mess (no plates) if your eating on the run, or simply don't have the resources (water) to clean dishes all the time. Oppressed natives in Mexico have been making the corn tortilla for generations from dried ground corn masa: • • • 4 cups masa or corn flour 1/2 tsp. Salt 2.5 cups hot water 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1 tsp. Salt 1/3 cup vegetable oil, lard, or shortening 1 cup warm water Flour Tortillas are enjoyed by the rich Spanish families: • • • • Roll or tortilla-press (available at Mexican food stores) both types into thin discs and stack either floured or between plastic. Cook on a barely smoking hot, dry fry pan, and flip every 30 sec until it puffs a little and brown marks start to show. Masa for masa you will need: • • 1 1/2 pounds (1 quart) dried white field corn 2 tbs. "cal" slaked lime (alkaline mineral, not the citrus fruit) Wash the dried corn and drain. Mix the lime into 2qt water and boil until dissolved. Boil corn 2 min. for tortilla flour or 15 min for tamale masa. Place corn in colander and rub between hands under flowing water until hulled and white; if you don't clean the corn kernels well they will have a disgusting lime flavor. Grind or crush the corn in a mortar or grinder. Make several of these batches and freeze them flat in tied plastic shopping bags. Tamale Hard work and long preparation but a good cheap way for a poor sympathizer to feed a hungry squad of activists. Don't waste your time on a small batch, nearly the same effort goes into a huge batch. These are portable in their husk and save well if sealed in a freezer, as one batch can last a week or two. Boil meat or bird for two hours until very soft and save the stock for a soup. When done, shred meat with your hands. Substitute shredded TVP, spicy stir fry, sliced mushroom, or tofu for the meat to vegify the recipe. Experiment, but don't boil them. Knead in 1/2 cup oil, 6 Tbs chili powder, 3 Tbs cumin, 1 Tbs black pepper, and 2 Tbs salt that you have been warming (not frying) in a pan. You can experiment with the chili powder if you are fickle with spiciness. Put corn husks into warm water to soften for two hours. Now put the 2 lbs. of Masa in a large bowl and add the following: dry 3 Tbs paprika, 3 Tbs salt, 1 Tbs cumin seeds, 3 Tbs Chili Powder, 3 Tbs fine dried garlic. Mix well dry and add 2 cup oil. Take about 1/2 cup of this dough and smear it into a corn husk, add 1 Tbs meat and wrap up fold over the end. Steam the whole batch for two hours, when done the dough should be firm. Refried Beans Get a sack of dried pinto beans, rinse and remove pebbles, add to a kettle of cold water, and soak overnight. Add 1/4 onion chopped, 1 crushed jalapeño pepper, 4 Tbs salt and 1 tsp garlic (crushed and shelled). Bring to boil and simmer for 1/2 hour. Place 1/4 cup oil into your wok. When the oil is hot but not smoking, start frying the beans. They only need 3-4 min in the fry until they are easy to smash, then add hot water to this mash until it is your preferred refried bean thickness. Pan-Asian, Wok-Cooking, and Rice Wok Cooking Our friends in China have long been enslaved by successive forms of government. Their poverty survival can be a lesson to us, especially how they cook in a fuel and food efficient style using the traditional wok. As the wok is probably the most versatile tool you can carry for cooking, unless you are a solo backpacker it is worth the weight in your gear. Forget what you are used to eating in Asian restaurants, these menus full of fried sugary treats are typically reserved for the past and current privileged class. Instead we will focus on the cooking style which is centered around preparing whatever food is available. Asian Cooking Tools in Order of Need • • • • • • • • • carbon-steel wok wok shovel carbon steel chopper cleaver cutting board bamboo chopsticks pot for rice, noodles, and soups bamboo steamer fry skimmer bamboo wok scrubber brush Stir Fry Add a few tablespoons of peanut or other high temperature oil to the bottom of a seasoned wok, heat until a drop of water sizzles. Add hard vegetables which require the most cooking first like garlic or onion, as these cook you can add vegetables, spices, and meats in order of their required cooking time. Don't overload the wok to where the heat source doesn't support a sizzle sound. Get the hottest flame possible and cook quickly; constantly turning the mix. At the end about 30 seconds before you kill the flame you can add sugar and soy sauce. Serve over noodles or rice. Peanuts and cayenne peppers are often stir-fried separately before a fancy meal. Be sure to have a powerful stove or stir frying won't work quite right, air blown charcoal, a powerful gas or electric stove top, or a mountaineering stove work well but a hot plate is on the weak side. Flat bottom woks are for electrical stoves and round bottom with a wok ring are used with gas. Water Fry A quarter cup of water and a lid are usually enough to quickly thaw and cook medium size frozen meats in your wok. As the water boils off break up the meat and add oil, spices, and vegetables to finish the cooking. Deep Fry Oil intensive but tasty, it will help you get enough fats for the week if you have abandoned American fatso diet. Tempura batter is a mix of ice water, flour and egg. Filter and save used oil for later use. Steaming A bamboo or metal steamer can be used to steam fish, meat, vegetables and even small breads and cakes quicker than a traditional oven. Many bamboo steamer levels can be stacked to conserve fuel when cooking for many. An alternative to staked bamboo is to use a perforated steamer disc and the wok lid to keep the steam in, tilt the lid or get one with a vent so there is room for steam to escape. Steamed buns are made by making a sweet bread dough and adding a stir fry to a thick disk of risen and punched down bread, bunch to the bottom and pinch shut, put the ball on a piece of paper and let rise again in a warm place for 30 minutes, steam for 15 min. Hom-Bows can be wrapped in cling-wrap plastic after steaming and frozen, to reheat microwave in the plastic, steam heat, or even put under your jacket and eat warm. Cleaning and Seasoning Your Wok Clean with hot water and a wok brush, do not use soap as this will strip the nonstick seasoning coat of cured oil. To season stir fry a meal of non disintegrating vegetables with a tablespoon or two of peanut, canola, or other high temperature oil, some meat is ok after the veggies are beginning to soften, potatoes will break up and stick to your wok and are best steamed, boiled in soup or deep fried as chips/fries. After awhile you will learn that seasoned iron is much longer lasting than nonstick coatings which are easily burned or damaged by travelers. Thickening Sauce Restaurants put in a little corn starch (1tsp.) in the last minute of stir-fry to thicken watery sauces. Spices Experimentation will lead to success for Chinese food. Use fresh garlic, ginger root, black pepper, anise, cinnamon, cloves, soy sauce, white pepper and whole cayenne pepper or whatever sounds good to you. The Thai add lemon grass, coconut milk or meat, and curry. Edamame You can buy frozen, prepackaged bags of shelled or unshelled soy beans, called edamame. For under three dollars you can have a pound of one of the best sources for near-complete protein (it contains most of the various proteins you can't produce on your own). You just bring 6 cups of water with a pinch of salt to a boil, add the edamame, let it boil again for 5-7 minutes, and then drain. Rinse with cool water and then add salt (preferably rock salt). You may need to add more salt later. Buying the pre-shelled edamame saves you money, as you get a pound of just the beans, not a pound of both beans and shells. Rice Rinse rice in cold water several times while agitating until water comes clear, fill water about 1.5 cm over the level of the rice inside a pot, make a depression with your finger in the center, cover with the lid and run up to boiling. Once a boil is going, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 min. The rice should have holes with very small bubbles popping from them when you open the pot. Mix and serve in about 5 min with a protein food. Fried rice is made by stir frying dry rice until it has a little bit of brown color. Mix in water and stir as it boils away; add some stir fried veggies, meat, and egg for Asian style or tomato sauce, spices, chopped onions, and crushed garlic for Spanish rice. You can also pre-cook rice as mentioned above while stir-frying veggies in a separate pan. Once the veggies are just a little before being perfect, add your cooked rice with some oil and soy sauce. Stir and mix in the pan until golden brown. A good recipe is cook the rice, brown ground beef (hamburger, about 1 lb to 1 c of dry rice) and mix together with sauces and seasoning, such as jalapeño salsa which can be got in cans. Pasta/Italian Pasta is cheap and is used in many easy recipes. Pasta in soup, cakes and traditional noodle and sauce dishes are all good for stretching your budget. Get vegetable or whole wheat pasta if you can. It's not much more and a whole lot healthier. Draining Pasta Without a Colander Draining your noodles when you don't have a colander: leave the lid on your pot but wrap a towel or cloth around the opening. The dry part of the towel will help you hold the pot, let the lid go loose in the towel and tilt to drain the water. Be careful, as your towel is now soaked with boiling hot water. A mesh stuff sack for your camp pots is also a great colander and much safer than a towel. Egg Noodles The following is taken from the Wikibooks Cookbook: • • • • 1 whole egg 1 cup flour 2 to 6 tablespoons of water 1-2 teaspoon of olive oil (optional) On a smooth surface, heap flour. Push a hole in the center of the flour (it should look like a volcano). Break egg into flour (add oil now if you choose to do so - it will change the flavor and texture). Either knead with hands or mix with a fork. Slowly add water one teaspoon at a time while kneading the dough. You probably will not need all six tablespoons of water (though you may possibly need more). Knead dough until it has a consistent texture. Divide dough into manageable sections. Select one section at a time and keep the rest covered. Roll each section to desired thickness and cut into noodles with a knife. These noodles can be laid out to dry for later use or dropped immediately into a boiling pot of water. Cook to taste. They are good with a variety of sauces. Ramen Those cheap little bricks of fried noodles, after having boiling water added (without the flavor packet) and drained once soft, can be used as a foundation for just about anything. • • • • • Adding leftover chili can make it spaghetti in meat (or chili) sauce. After the noodles are drained, add a bit of olive oil, garlic powder and Parmesan cheese for Ramen Agilo E Olio. Let the noodles cool, cut them up, and mix into a salad. Use it as a base for what ever main dish you're having (eggplant, vegiburger, etc.). Crack an egg into just boiled water and stir(break the yoke) for egg flower ramen, then add noodles and flavor packet Beware though, ramen constitutes an incredible amount of sodium. You can pre-boil a cup of water with your stinger and then add ramen, flavoring, and egg to the hot water. Spicy Ramen Pasta and Soup Boil two cups of water and add a packet of Ramen Noodles. Cook for three minutes stirring occasionally and add Cajun seasoning. After cooking for three minutes turn off heat and add more seasoning if needed. Move the noodles directly to something that can be used for mixing, i.e. a large bowl or plate. Do not strain the noodles, instead leave the broth in the pan you boiled it in, it will come in handy later. Once the noodles are in the mixing dish add Parmesan cheese, more Cajun seasoning, and a little olive oil for texture. Mix up the noodles and transfer them to a new dish or eat it right out of the mixing dish for a nice spicy pasta. With the leftover broth you can add diced carrots, leftover noodles, and more seasoning. Boil together and once the carrots have achieved a slightly soft state pour into a bowl and serve as soup. You can make variations of this dish using different seasoning or vegetables. Also you can add a little lime or lemon juice to the broth while cooking the noodles and again when cooking the soup to give it a unique flavor. Garlic Bread Any white or wheat bread (including day old hot dog rolls) can be garlic bread. Mix softened butter, chopped garlic and (optionally) some chopped parsley or any other green herb, and spread the bread with this. Place on aluminum foil and warm in an oven until the butter melts. Single-Serving Pizza For the crust, use a pita or English muffin (but almost any bread will do). Put on a thin layer of tomato sauce, then whatever toppings you wish (cheese, mushrooms, etc.). Put in a toaster oven and keep a watch on it, since cooking times vary. Your home made pita will also make a very tasty pizza crust, or you can use normal crust, like the bread dough below. Noodle Kugel Boil up and drain spaghetti or whatever pasta is on sale, add a few eggs to bind and sugar or salt to match your tastes. For sweet kugel, add dried fruits and raisins, for spicy kugel add pepper, sugar, and some vegetables for flavor. Bake at 250F for 30-40 min. Italian Red Sauce For good general use pasta/pizza sauce mix, start with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and quickly fry some smashed and shelled garlic in it, add tomato paste, pepper, basil, oregano, salt and a some red wine or real grape juice; mix and simmer until thickened and tasty. Most of these herbs can be seeded and grown like wild weeds; maybe you can hide other weed in with them! This sauce can be diluted with water for soup: add pasta or dough balls, and veggies, then season to taste. Tomato Paste Tomato paste can be made from your greenhouse tomatoes, Cut an X in the bottoms and drop into boiling water for 2-3min, then dump drained tomatoes into cold water to help peel skins, cut out seeds, boil chunks with 1/2tsp salt per Liter for an hour. Stir to avoid burning, crush then strain, cook for two to three hours on low stirring until a thick paste. Oats and Grains Energy Bars When out on a bike trip or at a demonstration, nothing beats that wilted weak feeling like our energy bars. • • • • • • • • • 1 cup rolled oats 1/2 cup wheat germ 1/2 cup oat bran 1/2 soy protein powder 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 cup crunchy peanut butter 1 cup nuts or dried fruit of your choice/chopped 1 cup dark or white chocolate chunks 1 cup honey or brown rice syrup Form into a cake and cut up or make cookies, freeze or dry in an oven for an hour at around 80C or 150F. Wrap in foil then plastic wrap so they will last a few weeks. Add cinnamon or cocoa for variety. Add tea or coffee beans raw or roasted to put wake up power into your bars. If you have to improvise be sure to include fast sugar, starch, fat, and protein for extended energy. Whole Kernel Wheat Popular with Mormons and survivalist types you might also find whole kernel wheat in railroad cars or on farms. Wheat especially the hard red winter variety, used in breads, is high in protein and keeps for many years if properly stored. The soft white variety is better for making noodles and pasta. For vitamin C on an all wheat ration sprout some wheat kernels in a damp sponge or shallow container. A quality grain grinder is an expensive but worthwhile investment. Minimum price is around $100 for a Corona beer makers stone grain mill, better grinders use steel burs and can cost around $300 but can be connected to an electric motor. We knew a vegan traveler with survivalist dreams who for years carried a mini hand held manual coffee grinder for whole wheat, he rarely used it since it was so much work, maybe he finally somehow connected it to his bicycle wheel. Inexpensive mills usually work until the first pebble is ground into them, then they are mostly useless. Oatmeal Those little packets of "Instant Oatmeal" may be nice, but they add up the costs something fierce. They are also pumped full of empty-calorie sugar. Buy a big box of loose oatmeal, and make your own by putting 1/3 to 1/2 cup (or if you're really hungry, a full cup) of dry oatmeal into a bowl, then add an equal amount of hot (but not boiling) water. Cover the bowl with a plate, wait a few minutes, and remove the plate. Hot oatmeal! If it's too thick, add more water. Want spices, fruits or flavors? Add them yourself! Get creative! Quick oats can be cheaply made by running whole oatmeal through a food processor or blade type electric coffee grinder until it looks like quick oats from the store. You can pre-boil water with your stinger and add it to your instant quick oats for a hot breakfast anywhere you can find an outlet Cake As Marie Antoinette said to the poor lower classes who were without bread and revolting against the French crown "Let them eat cake". Our cake is quicker than bread to prepare, and can be baked in many ways even if you are without an oven or gas. The recipe below can be modified with less sugar and vegetable chunks and soft corn if you like to eat it with a regular meal. You can remove the baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and vinegar and use baking powder (2 tsp) but remember that baking powder is very moisture sensitive and can go flat. No rising agents lead to a cake that is heavy and tough. Grated chocolate bar can be used like cocoa but is not as strong flavored, the other flavors and spices can be added if they are available. Cut and wrap a sheet cake for a days food on the move. • • • • • • • • • 3 cups flour 2 cups sugar 2 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. salt 3/4 cup vegetable oil, shortening, unsalted margarine, or butter 2 Tbsp. vinegar 2 cup cold water You can mix an egg or two into the second cup of water (in the measuring cup) for a softer cake Any or a mix of - vanilla extract, almond extract, sweet spices, unsweetened cocoa, chocolate chips, chunks, or shavings, dry or chunk fruits and berries, ground or chopped nuts, citrus peel shavings, freeze dry coffee, peanut butter Rub oil on your frying pan, folded aluminum foil or clean paper tray, or 9-by-13 inch baking pan and evenly sprinkle down some flour to coat the bottom (to prevent sticking). Preheat oven to 350F or prepare coals. Mix dry ingredients together first and then quickly add all of the liquid ingredients, mix only as long as it takes to get a smooth mixture. Pour batter into your pan and immediately begin cooking. Bake, steam, or place your pan above a fire or coals or a hot plate on a low setting with a lid or cover until a toothpick or fork comes out clean when poked into the middle of the cake, between 20 min to an hour depending on thickness and ingredients. Wait 20 min to cool then serve, cut up and wrap, or frost. Good sweet spices include cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and some also use anise and fennel seed. Freeze dry coffee as much as you need added to chocolate cake is great for waking up before midnight actions. With the alternative cooking methods practice is required and don't be surprised if you get a hard bottom crust if you cook over a fire, you could also try putting the batter into folded and oiled foil pockets or leaf wraps and put at the edges of the cinders, oil the inside of the foil if possible and fill less than half full since the cake will rise when cooking. An easy glaze frosting like what is on a donut is made by mixing water or orange juice and sugar, frosting is made with butter or oil and powdered sugar you can add cocoa if you like. Frosting keeps the cake moist longer. Pancakes Inexpensive and easy to make even with just a dollar store fry pan and one of the stoves in Low Impact Crashing. • • • • • 2 cup self rising flour 1/4 cup butter (oil/butter/fat/margarine) 1 egg (or 1/4 cup wet mixed egg powder) Sugar and/or Salt to desired flavor 2-3 cup water to desired thickness (to make self rising flour take 1 cup of all-purpose flour, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt or just look for it in the store) Make a huge batch and rewarm when you are hungry or eat cold. You can make syrup by heating water and adding with brown sugar or even regular sugar, a pinch of corn starch, and some butter, but why? You can substitute as much oat or whole wheat flour as you like to change the flavor. You can use these like a tortilla or lauffa and wrap other foods in them vary the sugar and salt t match the wrapped food. With a thin batter you can make the thin pancakes used in blintzes. Fry in a frying pan or wok with a little butter or oil, don't let them sit too long or get the pan too hot, flip when you start to see bubbles coming through the top, a spatula helps for flipping. Acorns You can collect wild acorns for free and then turn them into a meal similar to corn meal! Just gather a decent amount of acorns and shell them with a nutcracker or a stone. Grind the meat inside in a blender with water until it is a smooth paste, or hand grind it into a similar constancy. Now, you must place the ground meats into a colander lined with a paper towel and rinse thoroughly several times. You will notice that the water that runs out is milky. You are draining a bitter substance that rendered the meal inedible unless it is drained out. Repeat until the water that runs out is clear. Taste the meal to make sure. After letting it dry, you can use it in a manner similar to cornmeal or flour. Use it to make pancakes, muffins, biscuits, cookies, etc. Gathering acorns is a fun activity for younger children, too. It will keep them entertained and active, outdoors in good weather. You can reward them by "spilling" a little bit of extra sugar into your meal before baking. Homeless-Street Savvy Mulligan Stew During the Great Depression of the 1930's, many of the hobos who gathered in the camps would pool together whatever they had for a meal. The food was cut up and put into a pot with some water and cooked, adding waste bones of any kind and scrap meat added fats and protein. What was finished was often called "Mulligan Stew" or "Whatchagot Stew". In the early days of the personal computer revolution, techies would keep themselves fed during marathon sessions in a similar way, using a wok instead of a cooking pot. The resulting product was nicknamed "Stir-Fry Random" and was often served on a bed of rice or ramen noodles. During the days of America's "Wild West", the camp cook sometimes took leftovers, local vegetation, meat scraps and often the parts of the steer that wasn't normally eaten, and make what was often called "Sonofabitch Stew" for obvious reasons. If you plan to include dry beans pre-soak them and expect them to take as long as four hours, other dried grains and corn might also take this long to soften. Add ingredients to the pot in the order of time it takes to soften, at the last few minutes add greens that you gathered from areas away from the roadside where weed sprayers might ruin the food. Whatever stew you are making you can cook it in an aluminum foil pouch, carefully double fold three edges fill and fold to seal, cook the stew in campfires, forest fires, engine blocks, Bill Clinton's shorts, etc. Sandwich of Irony You can make a cooked cheese or other sandwich by setting an iron to it's highest setting and ironing your sandwich. Of course this might goop up the iron and make it unusable for clothes, but it is a good way to hide a cooking device in a dorm room. You might also try using your iron as a hot plate if you can figure a safe way to prop it upside down. A friend of one of our contributors was told how to heat sandwiches using a room radiator. Wrap the sandwich in aluminum foil and place it on the heat source. When you can smell the food, it's done. Creative Cooking Be creative, your radiator, hair dryer, clothes dryer, iron, car engine, coffee maker, etc can be used to heat canned or foil covered food. If there is a chance of boiling temperatures be sure the can has a hole poked in the lid to prevent explosion. Wrapping in foil makes most heat sources a safe way to heat or cook your food, just be careful to use a careful clean double fold to seal the edges. Car Cooking Cooking on car engine blocks see Cars, Cooking and Heating Field Corn When riding the rails or hitchhiking you will often find fields of corn just waiting to feed you hungry travelers. If you are lucky you will be near sweet corn which is great even if just baby stage where it can be eaten whole. Field or dent corn(animal feed) while not as sweet is very edible. If corn is already dried out you can pound or grind into cornmeal. You can eat ripe corn raw but cooking will make it taste much better. Pull the silk out of the top but don't remove the husk(leaves covering the corn). Some people will pour a little salty water in to flavor before cooking but it is optional. Wrap the husk tightly and either wrap in foil and place in the edge of the coals or place on a grille and cover, turn every few minutes. Add salt spices and butter to your liking, cooking 10-20 minutes. Below Edited From Dishes & Beverages Of The Old South Martha McCulloch-Williams (1913) Plain Corn Bread Sift sound fresh white cornmeal, wet with cold water to a fairly soft dough, shape it by tossing from hand to hand into small pones, and lay them as made into a hot pan well sprinkled with dry meal. The pan should be hot enough to brown the meal without burning it. Make the pones about an inch thick, four inches long, and two and a half broad. Bake quickly, taking care not to scorch, until there is a brown crust top and bottom. For hoe-cakes make the dough a trifle softer, lay it by handfuls upon a hot-meal-sprinkled griddle, taking care the handfuls do not touch. Flatten to half an inch, let brown underneath, then turn, press down and brown the upper side. (sugar will sweeten them up, baking powder will help them puff, the recipe mentions that they should be eaten drenched in butter but salt destroys this soaking power) Ash Cakes • • • • Make dough as for plain corn bread, but add the least trifle of salt, sweep the hot hearth very clean, pile the dough on it in a flattish mound, cover with big leaves--cabbage leaves will do at a pinch, or even thick clean paper, then pile on embers with coals over them and leave for an hour or more, according to size. Take up, brush off ashes, and break away any cindery bits. Serve with new butter and fresh buttermilk. Aluminum foil or damp corn husk wrapping should work if on the roadside instead of a fireplace hearth. Of course check out fields you pass by for other usable crops to feed yourself as you travel through the countryside. Stinger Soup Using a stinger or pocket immersion boiler to make soup Low_Impact_Crashing, Kitchen. Changes to some recipes here are in bold for stinger cooking. Be careful, if the water or liquid boils away a commercial stinger will burn out and a home made one might start a fire. To make a stinger soup boil solid veggies (onions, carrots, potato, beets, etc) in lightly salted tap water until they are cooked and only then adding a powdered soup base, spices, or bullion cubes that way your immersion boiler doesn't get too gooped up. Soft veggies like cabbage must be boiled with caution since small bits might stick to your stinger the same is true with pasta. If you want pasta in the soup boil the water first then pour it into a thermos if you have one and add the thinnest regular pasta you can find like angel hair spaghetti or substitute rice noodles since they soften faster. Street Salad Update Abbie wrote that ketchup and mayonnaise mixed together make Russian dressing. I'd suggest adding a bit of relish to it. I've also discovered that mayonnaise and mild yellow mustard mixed together make a quasi-Dijon dressing. If you're at a place that has a burger fixings station (Fuddruckers, for example), see if you can get your burger "to go" in a Styrofoam clamshell. Use one half for your burger, and the other for lettuce and tomatoes for your unauthorized salad that you put together on the sly (don't be greedy, since that attracts attention). Then leave before anyone asks questions. If they have those little paper cups for ketchup, mix your dressing in that. Take a fork, too, unless you consider a salad to be "finger food". Grab some green leafy vegetables from the dumpster behind the organic market or grocery store (wilted is ok), wash them off and add them raw to your salad, unlike useless iceberg lettuce they have gobs of the nutrients you need to be more revolutionary! Coffee Bar Most offices and waiting rooms feature free coffee with sugar and fake creamer. The fake creamer is barely food but will fill your stomach if you are hungry enough, half a cup creamer dry or mixed with sugar and hot water will give you strength to continue the search for food. It goes without saying that you should stuff your plastic shopping bag with any stale cake, donuts, or popcorn that is found with the coffee. Misc. Meal Staples and Snacks Potato The potato can either be microwaved after poked several times with a fork for around 8 min or more or boiled for 20-30 min. Easy to carry once cool eat like an apple with pepper, Tabasco, or soy sauce. One of the cheapest meals you can buy. Don't waste money or your health on instant mashed potatoes. You can skin and boil several potatoes together until they are soft and mash them yourself. Once mashed, you can add salt, pepper, and/or butter to taste. Mashed potatoes go well with gravy made by cooking scrap meat in water and then adding cornstarch or any other thickening agent and pepper. Try to eat the skins which contain most of the vitamins. Zucchini, carrots, and other veggies can also be cooked in a similar manner. Small whole potatoes are boiled in a can or pot with your stinger for about 20 minutes, watch the water level Tough Meat Roadkill, meat scraps, or cheap meat is often very tough and stringy. If meat is your thing here is a way to make it edible even if you can only afford junk. From 60-65C (150F) the collagen that makes tough fibers in meat converts to gelatin soft and tasty, at higher temperatures above 100C (210F) the cellular sugars and amino acids combine which toughens up forever and is difficult to chew and digest. Getting over 70C (160F) will kill bacteria. Overnight heating a stew just below boil or roasting in the oven at the indicated temperatures will both preserve moisture content and soften the meat. If you are feeling fancy you can torch off or grille the meat to give it a outer crust. A much quicker but less effective method is to use a "meat tenderizer mallet", which is a small metal or wooden hammer with a flat face that has lots of little pyramids on it, you can use it to break up the fibers of tough cuts of meat. Popcorn If you grow or buy in bulk, popcorn is a cheap and easy snack. Try mixing in spices, adding dry whey, and/or using a bit of oil to make the stuff stick. Carmel corn is made by heating up butter (or oil) and melting in brown sugar. Add a tablespoon of each until you have the right consistency. It helps to have a friend mix with a spoon while you pour. Popcorn can also be eaten as a cereal, just like the pilgrims did! Add milk and sugar if you want to give it a try. Stale popcorn also works as a cereal. An air popper can be run for a long time by dropping a little corn in every thirty seconds or so. This is good for large popping operations. Pop a huge trash bag full if you are on a support team and take out to your activists. If you have access to a microwave oven, don't bother with those pre-packaged bags. Pour a small amount into a large glass bowl and put a glass plate on top of it. If there is a "POPCORN" setting in the oven, use that. If not, put it on HIGH and shut it off three seconds after the last kernel pops. Bread Bread takes time but is delicious and inexpensive to make. You can make with as little as flour, sourdough culture or yeast, and water, but salt, sugar, eggs, and oil help add flavor and nutrition. As you add eggs remove an equivalent amount of water, an easy way to do this is fill the measuring cup with available eggs then finish with water. Using yeast means that you do not have to air culture a bowl of flour paste into sourdough, which takes several days. You can jump start a sourdough culture by begging a pinch of yeast from a bakery and adding it to the flour paste, then keep it alive warm, damp, and covered with a cloth, mix once or twice a day and keep using and feeding it flour and water. Mix sugar, warm water, and yeast into one large bowl and let it proof (reproduce) while working the other ingredients. Let it proof a long time for a strong yeasty flavor. Once you have a thriving bubbling yeast bowl, you can mix it into the bread bowl with the eggs, flour, oil, eggs, salt, and more sugar if you want a sweet bread. Lots of olive oil and herbs makes a tasty foccacia. Of course if you want to make a granola, fruity, or nutty bread go nuts. Try this first and then experiment: • • • • • 1 1/2 cups warm water (feels warm to hand, not burning hot) 1 Tbs sugar 1 tsp salt 4 cups flour 1 Tbs yeast Once you have your bread and punched it down you are ready to make a loaf. Let it rise again and bake it at 350F(180C) until it starts to brown on top. If you make a funky loaf at first, try again, as you will develop a feel for the consistency of a dough after a few tries. Steam Steam is also a way to bake whole loafs but it will have a different consistency then regular bread softer with a delicate white crust. If you find dry stale bread you can revive it by steaming for ten minutes and then a quick run in a hot oven. Put your stinger in a can of water and start it boiling, balance or skewer a dough bun and place another can with holes on over the bun to retain the steam, now you have a neo-hobo bun steamer. Pizza For pizza crust, let rise then roll or throw a flat disc onto a pan and let rise covered for 1/2 hour, then bake for 10 min at 200F. Remove crust add sauce, cheese, and toppings and bake again until the toppings are done. Store Loaf A nice loaf of store-bought bread can also make a rather nutritious, albeit boring meal. If you pay attention to what you buy, you can get a loaf that, if you eat enough slices, will fulfill the overwhelming majority of your nutritional needs. Most chain supermarkets will place loaves of day-old bread or pastries from the bakery section on sale. Be sure to check this area if your local store has one. Pita Flip your wok over or find a steel pita dome and place on a hot mound of coals or a gas burner, throw a flattened disc of floured dough (use a dough with a little extra oil in the mix) onto the hot dome, you will need to practice timing and temperature to make this tasty flat bread a little burning on the outside is normal. You will need to re-season the inside of the wok after using this method. You can also try using a hot plate surface, fry pan, or griddle. This is a middle eastern type of bread. Pita is usually dipped in olive oil and humus. Soaked overnight and boiled garbanzo beans are mashed into a paste with spices, herbs, and olive oil (really any bean and oil should work) This adds healthy lipids and protein to your diet when dipped or spread onto your pith or bread. Fry Bread A pita sized piece of dough can also be fried in oil in a pan, watch that you don't overheat the oil. Cake batter can be fried to make donut sticks, these need more oil since they must float. See also Hardtack crackers in Backpacking and Camping. Cheese and Dairy If you want to prevent your "just gone bad" milk from curdling, keep adding a little baking soda to it and mix until the "bad" smell is gone, this will save it far another day or two. Cheese and Spreads Take a bucket of warm salted milk or cream and add rennet to start curdling, keep the mix around 98-100F until curdling is done. Place curds in a clean nylon stocking and squeeze out extra water, compress into a cake for a few hours. Dip in liquid wax and keep cool if you want it to age and become sharp. Yogurt and sour cream become a spreadable cheese when they are put in a nylon stocking and hung in the fridge over a bowl for a day or two. Sour Cream Skim off the cream from separated milk (homogenized milk can be unfrozen to help it separate or make a centrifuge) and add a splash of live cultured buttermilk to the cream. Let stand out in a warm place for 24 hours (75-80F) or until thick (an electric blanket should do the trick). Save a bit of sour cream in your jar to use as a starter for your next batch. The leftover milk from this is called skim milk. Yogurt Yogurt is nutritious, cheap, healthy and delicious. It is easier than ever to make yogurt because much of today's yogurt comes with the active cultures still alive, and you can use these cultures to make your own yogurt. Almost any with active cultures works great: just mix some in with whole milk, put it in a large pot, and heat it until it feels warm, an electric blanket or next to a radiator should work too. In a few hours you'll be eating something much cheaper, tastier and healthier than buying it from a tub. Eating some every day can also prevent digestive problems. As an aside acidophilus powder (the good active bacteria in yogurt) from a health food store or plain yogurt (no sugar) has been known to kill yeast infections in some people if used several times a day. Parmesan Cheese The real block stuff that you have to grind is much better than what is in the shakey can for topping your food but both also work for making cheese and creme sauces and they pack well for the road. You can try substituting brewers yeast to see if you like the switch, the yeast actually has more protein. Drinks Fruit Juices There is no better way to save money and stay hydrated than by watering down your juice! Although the taste takes a few days to grow accustomed to, the benefits are tremendous. Everyone likes to have some flavor in their drinks, as demonstrated by the terrible trends of powdered drink mixes and "flavoured water," so why not try to be smarter about it?. Treat any standard $3.00 bottle of juice like a $15.00 bottle of concentrate- mixing 1 part juice to 4-5 parts water, experiment to figure out what's best for you. You'll soon learn that a bottle of juice can last you weeks, and will keep you less thirsty throughout the day. Fruit from the dumpster of a market is often bruised and not appealing for consumption raw, but it is well suited for juicing, don't forget to wash it off first. If you're at a restaurant and have a limited budget, order water with lemon. It's almost always free, and will add some flavor to your beverage. Furthermore, lemon is a natural source of various vitamins and is good for digestion. Tea Sun Tea is a cheap and easy way to have nice iced tea. Just take a couple of quarts of water in a sealed, clear jug, add any type of loose or bagged tea (about a tablespoon or two per jug), set out in the sun for a few hours, and then refrigerate. You can steal as many packets of tea as you could want from coffee stations all over the country, in convenience stores, churches, etc. This is healthier than buying manufactured tea from Lipton or other sources that use acids and preservatives in their concoctions. If you can't stand unsweetened tea, try adding lemon. If you still can't stand it, add some sugar. The sooner you can prevent your children and/or yourself from becoming dependent on sugar, the healthier they will become. When you or a friend are visiting England, be sure to stock up on tea; you won't know the difference until you have had a quality tea, but you will be disgusted by European and American teas once you have tasted quality. If you are pulling an all-nighter, there is no better buzz than proper English tea. An absolutely free and nutritious tea can be made from pine needles. Pick a small fistful of pine needles from a nearby tree (use the greener living ones on the branches, not the brown\gray dead ones on the ground), break them in two and boil in water. Pine needle tea actually tastes pretty good, and pine needles by weight contain more Vitamin C than lemons or limes. Great in the wintertime. Lemonade Don't buy pre-made lemonade or lemonade powders! For a version that's better and cheaper, get a clean 2 liter soda bottle or a 1/2 gallon pitcher. Pour in 3 cups of cold water, add 1 cup of sugar (or other appropriate sweetener like Stevia), then put the cap on and shake (or stir) until the sugar dissolves completely. Then add 1 cup of lemon juice (The reconstituted stuff from the discount stores works perfectly if it is real), add three more cups of water, shake/stir again, and enjoy. Add washed and crushed throw away strawberries to upgrade to strawberry lemonade, and/or add homemade vodka for a little zing. For a cool middle eastern flavor add crushed mint leaves for mint tea. This can also be made for free at a convenience store beverage station using the lemon packets meant for tea, and the sugar meant for the coffee. Furthermore, while attending a restaurant, order a water with lemon (which is usually perfectly free at a sit-down place of any sort) and mix in a few packets of sugar from the table. Smoothies Mixing fruit, ice, and either milk or yogurt in a blender is a good way to get a solid serving of both fruit and dairy in a cool, refreshing beverage. You can also sneak in a carrot or bit of tomato to discreetly add some more minerals and vitamins without disrupting the flavor. The natural sugars of the fruit should be enough to give your smoothies the right amount of sweetness to encourage kids to partake, as well. Apple Wine You can make cheap wine by getting cider at an orchard (about a dollar a liter) and adding a packet of yeast. The yeast can be bought at any you-brew store. One packet will make about 20 liters of wine. Let the mix stand 'till the bubbles stop. Or for a stronger wine let stand 3 months. This will work for other fresh squeezed juices as well although the flavor often changes. Avoid Don't waste your money on expensive high fructose beverages like soda, as fructose is more harmful to your body than cane sugar. Avoid drinking sports drinks, unless you have a terrible diet and are sweating constantly. Instead, add a pinch of salt to your watered fruit juice. Also, it turns out that Soy Milk may not be that healthy for you, as most of it is made from fermented soy beans. Fermentation not only destroys most of the vitamins and minerals in soy, but can also lead to ill health effects. Using Old Cookbooks When looking for something out of the ordinary to make for a meal, you may come across a few older cookbooks. A number were written during the Great Depression using simple ingredients (such as "Aunt Sammy's Radio Recipes" produced by the US Department of Agriculture). Some written during World War 2 may feature a number of meatless recipes since civilian sales of many foods were rationed so the Armed Forces could be fed. You may have to cut back on some of the fatty ingredients since such things as "cholesterol" were not as widely known as they are today. Many of the older cookbooks were written back in the days before microwave ovens, and some terms may seem unfamiliar to folks today. Here are a few that you may come across. Double Boiler-This is a two-tiered saucepan that is used to melt things like cheese and chocolate. It uses the heat from boiling water in the bottom to melt the item in the top pan, since direct heat from the flames can burn it. If a recipe says to mix something "over boiling water", this is what they mean. These are still being made, but you may have to buy yours at a specialty cooking store. You can also make your own by placing a pan over another pan, be careful that they fit right though and that they won't slip or burn you from the steam. Double Cream-An old term for Heavy Cream. Hard-Wheat and Soft-Wheat Flours-Hard-Wheat flour was used for yeast breads and Soft-Wheat was used for pastries, cakes and quick-breads. Just use All-Purpose or Whole Wheat flour. Nutmeats-These are nuts (often walnuts or almonds) chopped into little pieces. (Note: Peanuts aren't nuts; they're legumes, a kind of bean.) Rich Milk-Back in the day when almost all milk delivered by the milkman was Certified (that is, non-homogenized), the cream in the milk would rise and collect in the neck of the bottle. This was called "Rich Milk", "Top Milk" or "Top of Milk" and was used in a number of recipes. You can substitute Light Cream for this. Scalded Milk-You're to bring the milk almost to a boil (using a Double Boiler, natch). This often helps the cooking process in some recipes. Single Cream-An old term for Light Cream. Skim (or Skimmed) Milk-Another term for "Fat Free" Milk. Soda-Not a soft drink, but Baking Soda, also known as Sodium Bicarbonate or Bicarbonate of Soda. Top Milk (or Top of Milk)-See "Rich Milk". Yeast Cake-This is a small 0.6 ounce block of active yeast (about a tablespoon) that is used in baking. It is rarely seen in supermarkets anymore, since it is highly perishable and doesn't transport very well. Substitute it with 2 1/4 teaspoons of Active Dry Yeast (what you'll find in those yeast packets in the store). If the recipe calls for a 2 ounce yeast cake, use three packets or 6 3/4 teaspoons of Active Dry Yeast. Pasta-Some cookbooks from back in the 1930's mention cooking pasta for as much as 20 minutes. This was when pasta was made with much denser dough than today, unless of course you are home making the pasta recipe earlier in the chapter. Ignore the time suggestion and just boil until tender. If the pasta is to be used in a casserole, under cook it, since it will continue to cook when it's in the oven. External Links College level cheese making with some easy Italian recipes. The Cook's Thesaurus: "(A) cooking encyclopedia that covers thousands of ingredients and kitchen tools. Entries include pictures, descriptions, synonyms, pronunciations, and suggested substitutions." WikiBooks: Cookbooks (Recipes from Wikimedia) Restaurants Friends with the Staff If you have either a decent personality or passable acting skills, you can sometimes get free food by befriending the staff at hip restaurants. Hone your skills at identifying compassionate places. Generally, but not exclusively, such establishments tend to have mismatched decor (obtained from thrift stores if not for free). In addition, the employees are usually young and similarly mismatched, the music comes from an actual stereo, and the place probably doesn't accept credit cards. If there is an older woman who calls everyone "honey" like she really means it, your odds of getting free stuff increases exponentially. Avoid larger chain restaurants, although if you're exceptionally charismatic you might be able to pull it off there as well. Sometimes you will have success in places where the staff looks bored or angry, although they are probably under the thumb of an oppressive and paranoid management who keeps tight track of supplies. Start by hanging out over a cup of coffee or something similarly cheap. Act friendly and have a few interesting stories ready. Don't overdo the poor bit. Most Amerikans are frightened or disgusted by the unfortunate. Chat with your wait-person, take the food to-go if this will reduce the work of the waiter, and maybe even jot a friendly note on a clean napkin when you leave. Become friends with the staff let them in on a few travel stories (remember Security Culture). If they think of you as a friend and not simply another tip, they might want to draw you back for more tales of the road. Don't ask for stuff up-front unless you are just blowing through. If you build a little camaraderie with any particular staff members, you can offer little conversational tidbits about your exciting and interesting travels. However, asking outright for freebies is generally an alienating move until you have built a rapport. You may find that your coffee is left off the bill, or you are afforded a free buffet, or even that another customer's unwanted entree finds its way to your table. ALWAYS make sure to tip as extravagantly as possible for such favors to let the staff know that you are sharing what wealth you do have, always use cash. Once you've cultivated a relationship with a restaurant, you might even be able to bargain leftovers if you hang around at closing time. People can be surprisingly compassionate and empathetic if they identify with you or want to live vicariously through you. In our sexist society, you will find that a woman has a better chance to get free stuff with a male waiter, especially with a slightly cute, shy approach, while still letting him know you are running tight and relying on his compassion. Males usually also have more success with males if they can become interesting and respected; a male appealing to another male's compassion is more likely to elicit a reaction of disgust than sympathy. Female waitresses are wise to these games and see a scam better since playing off of their ego is less effective. 18 to 21 year old wait staff are the easiest to get free food from, since they aren't jaded and often don't really care if they end up getting canned. If you live in a college town, are of (or can pass as) the appropriate age, and have enough guile, a classic strategy is to claim membership with a campus environmental club and ask for leftovers. Knowing the organization's appropriate name is essential, and learning a bit about current officers or projects can lend extra credibility. Wear something about Darfur or Fair Trade to seal the deal. You can make off with enough food to feed you and another person for a week. If you are extraordinarily bold, just say you collect for the homeless. That way you don't have to fudge a story. Another angle you might try is that you are trying to feed pets. This avoids fear of litigation over spoiled food. As you leave carefully grabbing leftovers from plates while the staff is not looking and dumping it into a bag is an effective way to supplement your diet. The Walk-out A classic is the walk-out. A friend and I got away with this a number of times by pretending to be a couple (a male-and-female duo works best for this kind of scam, but if you are two of the same gender, it might work to your advantage to pretend that you are siblings). We dressed slightly eccentrically but not outrageously, so the staff would remember the clothes and not our faces. We spent our dinner discussing literature, philosophy, and the sadness of our society. I had a notebook and pen, and he smoked cigarettes. The effect we were aiming for was to look like off-the-wall artist-activist types. At the end of the meal, we each "got distracted" by something. He went to the bathroom while I wandered about as if in thought. Then, I went outside. He followed several minutes later, and we walked away totally free. Had someone stopped us, I would have remarked that I thought he was going to pay, and he would have said that he thought I'd already paid. Make sure to leave a tip, though. Don't dine and ditch unless you have no other choice; it would be a bad thing to be hauled in and charged with extra crimes to get you off of the street. Only attempt this ruse out of town, because a waiter might remember "those bastards that ran off without paying." Pizza Call up the local Pizza Hut and order whatever sort of pizza you like and be sure to prepay via credit card. Then, when the pizza arrives, call the restaurant back and say they gave you the wrong one. Pizza Hut is obligated to give you the pizza for free, even if they can prove that you're wrong. This is an almost foolproof way to get a free pizza, however you shouldn't do it too often with a single place or they'll refuse to serve you. Also, be sure to tip the delivery driver if you try to pull this one. They'll be screwed out of the meager compensation they get for gas and wear and tear on their vehicles by the greedy corporate office, so they really need the tip for this one. A note about STB Be careful using Abby's glass in the food complaint trick. Today with big lawsuit awards it is worthwhile for a chain restaurant or food manufacturer to be hyper-aggressive and crush anyone who might be making a false report in order to protect themselves from bad publicity and further scam lawsuits. Food Programs Food not Bombs Ask around to see if your town has a Food Not Bombs chapter. FNB groups in cities across the US and several other countries serve healthy, free, vegan food to anyone who wants it. Most chapters serve at least once a week, some serve everyday. FNB groups usually serve in a public place, such as a park or town square. Food Not Bombs groups will also often agree to provide food at large gatherings, such as protest marches, picket lines, disaster areas, activist conferences, etc. provided they have the resources to do so. Go to for more info, including an (incomplete) list of active groups. Food Stamps Food stamps are still available, ask at your state or county health clinic or city hall where to apply. Many states ask many detailed questions about your eligibility based on income, property, and vehicles owned. An easier program for mothers and children is to get onto WIC a nutrition program that provides nutrition specific foods like milk, cereal, and yogurt. Feed a Yippie If you are not up to direct action at least support our kids in the streets, use the large group recipes in Cheap Chow or whatever you can dumpster dive and support our troops! Please remember that we need to eat every day, put a bread loaf shaped chalk mark on the curb or sidewalk Wall Painting so we know you are willing to feed a traveling Yippie. Supermarkets Beware the temptation to be a petty shoplifter. You are truly resisting oppression, not just being an angry wannabe revolutionary. Even an angry youth, once fingerprinted, will be in the database for life. How many promising brothers and sisters have successfully fought a political persecution only to be later sent behind bars for a maximum sentence on a shoplifting charge. To lower ourselves in the eyes of the public demeans our cause. We are not in the 60's anymore - we need leaders that inspire popular resistance to the corpgov. Be aware of modern technique for only the worst of emergencies. Consider the story of Tre Arrow a leader in the eco-green movement who was slapped with some arson charges in 2001 to get him out of circulation. After escaping safely to Canada he is at the time of this writing sitting in a Canadian prison, fighting for asylum against the Canadian courts who want to deport him to the United States. All for being caught shoplifting bolt cutters. If the movement needs something so badly let a non-activist do the shoplifting. This book/wiki is no substitute for knowing both the laws and enforcement of those laws in the different states and localities. For example some states allow store employees to make a citizens arrest for shoplifting and in others they can talk tough and hope you stick around until a sworn law enforcement officer arrives to collect you. Understand that a cop will almost never take an employee in for assault or false imprisonment even if he did improperly apprehend you. Supermarkets In spite of massive markups and increasing food costs, there are still a few ways to get out of a supermarket without getting totally robbed. Shoplifting is a good way to send a known activist off to jail for a long time when no other charges will stick, so think before you steal. "Please do not steal from local owned stores for many have been closing down because of loss. In urban areas there are not very many local owned stores anymore. Loss and the supermarkets undercutting price until the local store closes, are main reasons why my store could not survive." author unknown Getting food extra cheap Dumpster Diving Many smaller supermarkets still have open-top dumpsters where day-old food can be had for free! Happy hunting! Some even separate veggie and meat stuff. Be careful with compactor type trash dumpsters, these are usually shielded so yippies can't jump in and root around when the stock boy hits the compress button. It is possible to bend the guards and reach in but never try to get in. Some compactors have exposed hydraulic hoses, these use quick connect connectors which are disconnected when the garbage truck comes, you could disconnect them when you dive the trash ares to "safe" the compactor, but be sure there is not an electrical assist or that you have not just removed the return line which would not disable the crushing direction. Most good stuff is ruined by compactors so the danger is almost never worth the risk unless you have an accomplice on the inside to load the compactor with good stuff for you and not hit the smash button. Coupons One of our writers sent a letter to a large US bakery company saying that French students were coming to the high school and that there would be a presentation on American foods including snack cakes. They were asked to donate products for the exchange students to sample. One week later four coupons arrived worth five dollars each for that corporations bakery products. This is a great totally legal way to get some basic food if you are low on cash, because even most junk food companies also make bread and other products that are better for you. This also works if you write a polite letter to complain or compliment their products or just to ask questions, this sometimes also works if you call the 1-800 info number. Marketing Scams Most packaged, branded food is marked up like crazy. Healthier and no name foods tend to be cheaper. Good for you, if it turns out you have to pay. Look for these foods on the very bottom and top shelves. The brand name items the supermarket is pushing will be at the average person's eye level. Discount Stores In some poorer neighborhoods, you can find discount grocery stores that sell odd-lot packages of food. Often these are over-runs of stuff meant for regional chains with unfamiliar brand names, or major label items that were meant for export with English-language labels slapped on them (so don't be surprised if you see Arabic corn flakes or instant oatmeal with Chinese text). Many of the major odd-lot stores like Big Lots, Dollar General and 99 Cents Only sell this kind of food at a major discount. If something is in stock and you like it, buy it, since the supply of these bargains is spotty at best. Bakery Outlet type stores sell breads, crackers, cakes, pies and cereals that are weeks (if not days) before their freshness dates expire. If you have access to a freezer, stock up! Sample Surfing Many large chain supermarket deli's will give you a sample if you ask, enough corpgov fat and batter to tease but not enough to satisfy. Hit several stores and you might get enough to fill you up, many stores also have one day a week where vendors give lots of samples in the aisles. Munchies and Hungries Most of us end up shopping (or shoplifting) when we are hungry or worse stoned and munchy. You will end up wasting your money on cheap packaged foods with little nutritional value. Plan shopping trips and take a list, stick to your well planned shopping list, corporations have special employees who plan the store shelf layout very carefully to seduce idiots into buying expensive junk. Plan your nutrition, make a diet to plan shopping, like an overweight person on a diet does, but count nutrients and calories for energy and value not weight loss. Marketing 101: Corpgov marketing strategies are known to work much better on hungry supermarket customers. Grifter Tricks Lifting a Meal If you want to steal-a-meal, it is generally a better idea to load up a basket and then go into the bathroom and eat in one of the stalls. Leave a few items in your basket so you don't look suspicious. Then, you can put everything back or just take it. If you eat in the bathrooms, don't be stupid and remember to wash your hands. Nobody wants a sick Yippie. Another more risky option if the bathroom is out is you could eat some food, including deli food, just ask for them to bag it and you will pay with your other items, in a quiet aisle and ditch the container behind some boxes. Be careful, in a few places you can be busted for shoplifting as soon as a security agent or employee sees you take only one bite, chances are they will probably kick you out on the first offense. Better to check the dumpsters in back and avoid a chance for quality time with officer friendly. Papers Please Another method is to enter a supermarket armed with shopping bags and a receipt(from said supermarket). Put what you want into a shopping cart. When you've got what you want, find a low traffic, low security area(The bedding section, garden center, discount aisle) and put your goods into the shopping bag(s). Then just walk right out(with the receipt in hand). If your stopped, hand them the receipt, they usually won't take the time to check for each item. This works best during medium to peak business hours. Some stores combat this by marking your receipt as you exit. Gift Cards Go to the corporate store and find the gift card on the shelf, the first one in the stack preferably. Walk around the store with it and memorize or write down the security information on the back of the card. It should be a series of numbers. Then return the card as if you decided against purchasing it. Then wait a month or two and check online to see if the card is activated because it was purchased. If yes, then use the card to make purchases online. Don’t worry about ruining Johnny’s birthday. Most of the corporate stores set up refund programs to stop bad press and keep people buying the scam cards. Please use the card in support of progressive causes (such as donations to legit non-profits) because we should be using these skills to help everyone. UPC Tricks Many supermarkets have a section near the back with marked-down items that are old or damaged, with the UPC written over with a new price. Cashiers ring up these items using the new price no questions asked, so one can do this for any item. If you can find an old CueCat or other cheap bar code scanner you can scan some inexpensive or generic item that you find in the trash and then print new UPC's on sticker paper to stick onto goods at the market, be sure the description is close to what you are sticking or a sharp checker might bust you. Don't try this scam too often with the same checker or at the same store in case the management starts looking for you. Photocopying UPC's and gluing/sticking them onto more expensive items should work especially if you are in a self service scanpoint. It is important to remember that most self service checkouts weigh the items as you add them to the bag so only fake the UPC on same weight items. Self Check-Out Make the self checkout lane work for you! Ring up more expensive foods as cabbage or bananas; they tend to be sold pretty cheap by the pound. There is usually one employee (if that) not very closely watching over four or more self checkout lines. Club Card Warning As tempting as a few pence off sounds, don't use a Clubcard. Ever. These little bastards will keep track of all your purchases, how you paid, when you bought them, and even what store you shopped at. A Clubcard is the easiest way to destroy any alibis you might need later on -- so don't use them. Some stores however allow you too use your phone number in place of a Clubcard, and since people can be generally forgetful, keep your eye out for someone manually entering their phone number and quickly memorize it. As a method of caution you should probably only use this number when the savings granted by the card are rather dramatic as even one or two uses may begin to show that another is using the account, especially if you are traveling, at this point any stealth value is lost. The US Department of Homeland Security openly claims to purchase an updated database from all major club card stores and credit card companies (credit and debit) so that they have instant access to who is buying what and when to fight "terror". Even a stolen club card number can be quickly attached to your profile even if your name is unknown and can be used to follow shopping and travel patterns. Wholesale Markets. America is not the economic powerhouse it was in the 60's, there are not the massive food surpluses that there once were. Litigation because of spoiled food and fear of a free lunch attracting tramps has gone a long way to ending many easy food handouts. Vegetable handouts are still a possibility behind some stores that have yet to seal and cover their garbage crusher dumpsters. Try the large grocery outlets who supply restaurants, since the public is less likely to be hanging around they are less likely to seal or lock their trash compactors and dumpsters, they are also a great place to shop but pay cash. Especially in winter it is possible to unload with darkness covering your expedition, an LED headlight will help you see what food is still good, tall rubber boots and leather gloves will prevent many injuries. Food Conspiracies What follows is the original text Forming a food cooperative is one of the best ways to promote solidarity and get every kind of food you need to survive real cheap. It also provides a ready-made bridge for developing alliances with blacks, Puerto Ricans, chicanos and other groups fighting our common oppressor on a community level. Call a meeting of about 20 communes, collectives or community organizations. Set up the ground rules. There should be a hard-core of really good hustlers that serve as the shopping or hunting party and another group of people who have their heads together enough to keep records and run the central distribution center. Two or three in each group should do it. They can get their food free for the effort. Another method is to rotate the activity among all members of the conspiracy. The method you choose depends upon your politics and whether you favor a division of labor or using the food conspiracy as a training for collective living. Probably a blend of the two is best, but you'll have to hassle that out for yourself. The next thing to agree upon is how the operation and all the shit you get will be paid for. This is dependent on a number of variables, so we'll map out one scheme and you can modify it to suit your particular situation. Each member of every commune could be assessed a fee for joining. You want to get together about $2,000, so at 200 members, this is ten bucks a piece. After the joining fee, each person or group has to pay only for the low budget food they order, but some loot is needed to get things rolling. The money goes to getting a store front or garage, a cheap truck, some scales, freezers, bags, shelving, chopping blocks, slicer and whatever else you need. You can get great deals by looking in the classified ads of the local overground newspaper and checking for restaurants or markets going out of business. Remember the idea of a conspiracy is to get tons of stuff at real low prices or free into a store front, and then break it down into smaller units for each group and eventually each member. The freezers allow you to store perishables for a longer time. The hunting party should be well acquainted with how to rip off shit totally free and where all the best deals are to be found. They should know what food is seasonal and about nutritional diets. There is a lot to learn, such as where to get raw grains in 100 pounds lots and how to cut up a side of beef. A good idea is to get a diet freak to give weekly talks in the store front. There can also be cooking lessons taught, especially to men, so women can get out of the kitchen. Organizing a community around a basic issue of survival, such as food, makes a lot of nitty gritty sense. After your conspiracy gets off the ground and looks permanent, you should seek to expand it to include more members and an emergency food fund should be set up in case something happens in the community. There should also be a fund whereby the conspiracy can sponsor free community dinners tied into celebrations. Get it together and join the fight for a world-wide food conspiracy. Seize the steak! Roadkill Urban Pigeon If the soup kitchens are providing nothing but watered broth and the dumpsters are picked clean there is still an easy source of protein if you are careful and fits your philosophy. First of all realize that this is both controversial in that some will call it cruelty and secondly it could be an excuse for the pigs to haul you in. While in China rat is sold in markets and raccoon, cat, rabbit, and squirrel all exist in our urban zones they are too often diseased or dangerous as they fight back tooth and claw. Other birds (except the occasional dove or duck) like seagulls are also too smelly because of their diet of vermin infested dead things and rotten garbage. The best meat we can get for free is the simple stupid urban pigeon. The easiest way to catch them is with a little bread trail for bait, a box with a stick holding it propped up, and about twenty feet of string. Bird follows trail of bread under box, you pull string, stick lets box fall, bird is trapped. You can use other methods like nets or a loop of string and hope to catch a leg but this seems the easiest and most humane. Put your hand under the box and grab your bird, he won't bite, be quick so he won't hurt himself flapping, grip around his body pinning down his wings. Look him over, are his feathers looking good or is he shedding and scabby, Is he infested with bugs or weak and sluggish, are his eyes looking filmy or gross, if so let him go and wash your hands he is probably diseased. If he looks good snap or cut his neck quickly (with a new razor blade) so it will be over for him. Cut him open from neck to tail and look his insides over, are they glistening smooth and come out easily or are they all stuck together and spotty, if they look bad or wormy again chuck him out and let a cat or raccoon have him, he was not long for this world anyway. Rinse out the gut area before proceeding. You might consider plucking before cutting open(it is too hard after) to save the skin and fats, but most of us just peel the skin off and cook like a mini chicken. A pigeon soup would be the safest way to go, let it boil for at least a half hour, but an hour is better, drink or save the broth. Anyone who eats meat but is offended by this idea must remember that at least this bird lived a completely free life and died quickly unlike the factory cage chickens you might be eating from the store. Roadkill Edited content from original book: That's right, you can eat dead animals that you find on busy roads. As long as you get to the dead animal fast enough (before it starts rotting), there aren't any reasons that this practice should be dangerous. Just make sure to cook it properly. In some US states you are supposed to notify the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) if you find a larger animal (deer, bear, wolf etc.) dead on the side of the road. They will usually still let you keep it. Notifying them will get you out of trouble if some 'helpful' officer accuses you of poaching. In small towns and rural areas, the death of any livestock must be verified by an authorized individual. This is to prevent someone from, say, ramming into their bovine encephalitic cow and saying that was the cause of death - also for insurance purposes. For this reason, always make sure you befriend your local veterinarian, and he's the one who makes the death certification. He normally gets paid for his work in carcass. Farm It Grow Your Own Food As food prices spiral upwards, the personal and group garden will come back into vogue. This Victory Garden puts us somewhat above the heavy handed and regularly used strategy of people control through the selective distribution of food to the "good" people. Try to acquire and seed non hybrid seeds before times of trouble, as these seeds can be used generation after generation. Don't kill yourself with poisons; use natural insect repellents and fertilizers. Try to plant some staple foods, like spinach, cabbage, and squash, which offer more versatility for dishes. Most seed packets cost about a dollar, and can contain hundreds of seeds. More hardy plants, like squash, can go for about 15 cents a seed. Almost all packets have growing facts printed right on them, including best climate, harvest periods, and even how to plant them in the ground. Most harvest periods for solid, edible crops range from only 50 days to about 100 days. Be sure to look to see what seasons are recommended to grow your crops in and where to plant them. After replanting the hardier plants from your seedlings into the ground, most just need about a foot or two between each plant. Even a backyard a few yards across and a few yards deep, if devoted to your new plants, can yield enough food at harvest time to feed yourself for a few weeks. Remember to rotate which crops you plant seasonally. If you only plant one type of plant in the same row for a few seasons, you risk severely damaging the soil and depleting it of various minerals. Try to first add crops that can be brought into operation in a few months so you can start cutting your food budget rather than for example waiting years for an orchard. What to grow Roots Root vegetables are easy to grow and have high food content per acre. The potato fed the Irish until the blight sent them packing to new shores due in part to lack of crop rotation. Potatoes are one of the easiest plants to grow without access to a plot of land. The most important step is to acquire good quality seeds/eyes. You can sometimes even use a potatos from the supermarket, unless they have been treated with chemicals to prevent eyes from forming, let them sit for a few weeks to see if they sprout. Most big box stores with a "garden" section will have one or two varieties in early spring. Acquire a large garbage can or other large container and clean it out with a 1:5 ratio of bleach and water to kill any molds and fungi. When you are finished punch a half dozen holes in the bottom for drainage. Put about four to six inches/ten to fifteen centimeters of soil in the bottom. If necessary, cut the seeds up so that there are two to three on each piece. Place the seeds or eye sprouts on top on the surface of the soil, eyes up. Some suggest soaking the seeds beforehand others say dry them out to prevent rotting and others yet say don't do anything at all. Look at the package in your hands and see what it says and then use the grey matter between your ears. If something doesn't work do the other next year. Cover the seeds and keep the soil watered but not soaked, about an inch a week. Once the plants have grown about six to eight inches/fifteen to twenty centimeters cover the bottom third with soil. Continue adding soil whenever you get some new growth until the plants begin to flower. It is essential to keep the "seeds" and/or tubers covered with soil as exposure to the sun will cause them to turn green. Never eat any green part of a potato or potato plant, they are poisonous. You can harvest these as new potatoes or wait. Your choice. Once the flowering is over and the plants start to yellow stop watering. Wait a few weeks for the potatoes to settle and dig them up. Optional variants: Use sawdust (non-pressure treated wood) and feed with liquid kelp or compost tea whenever you add a layer. Tobacco Not only for smoking, although you if you do you can avoid cigarette taxes, but for the very effective insecticide and repellant. Gourds Most types of squash are good for filler food in typical meat dishes, such as chili. Cut up gourds and pumpkins are good in soups or as a filler for pies. Corn Corn is starch and sugar rich and can be eaten fresh cooked or dried and ground up for cornbread in the winter. See cheap chow for some recipes. Beans Beans are high in protein and usually easy to grow, eat whole or shell out the inner seeds and dry in the sun for storage. Combined with rice you have a complete if boring diet. Grow the vines in your greenhouse. Grains If you have a large field at least an acre you might try growing wheat, oats or barley. Once you harvest the wheat you need to be able to cut down, de-hull, and thresh away the chaff. See also Caching and Cheap Chow Bamboo Bamboo is of the grass family but the wood can be used in place of trees. The stalks are quick growing, strong, and lightweight. Bamboo can be grown from a cutting placed in water and once roots sprout potted. Bamboo will take over a yard if allowed so caution must be used in planting especially near a water source. Untreated bamboo rots quickly if allowed to remain damp or in contact with the ground. Bamboo could also possibly be used to build a greenhouse. Blackberries Blackberry briar's not only provide supplemental food for pies or juices but it is also an excellent barrier plant. Blackberries grow quickly and care must be take to prevent overgrowth especially in wet climates or near water. Hay If you harvest hay during the fall and keep it dry you can feed your livestock during the winter, store feed or grains are expensive. Many public fields can be freely harvested as long as they havve not been sprayed. Be sure the hay is well protected and dry. Hay that is harvested green or gets damp will compost generating temperatures high enough to start a fire, this is a serious danger for hay kept in a barn or near an animal pen. Farming Techniques Watering The trick to watering a garden is to water it around dawn or dusk, when the plants are still warm, or about to get warmer, and to water until it starts to flood. Too little water, and you're only hurting the plant by teasing it. Too much will erode the soil, but this takes a lot of water. If you're in an area where it gets below freezing at night, water your plants before it gets there, then cover them with a blanket or tarp. Ice makes a surprisingly good insulator, and the blankets do too. One of the best sources of free water is your roof gutters, it is best to store this in a rain barrel or cistern since the rain is already watering your garden that day, use the stored water on a dry evening. Also look for ways to catch the runoff from parking lots and driveways, an artificial pond is one way to save this water. Tire Farming A stack of tires filled with soil is the start of a vertical farm. Plant between the tires and wedge small openings for your plants. The tires help conserve water and space and are especially good for growing root vegetables. Greenhouse PVC pipe and UV Plastic sheet are almost all you need to start a greenhouse, saving you water and increasing crops. It is important that the clear plastic you use will resist degradation, ask at a garden or hardware shop. Choose a site with well drained soil. If you will be growing only in summer build under the shade of a tree to reduce overheating, but place in direct sun if you plan to grow full lifecycle plantings, shade cloth or white plastic can substitute for natural shade if overheating is a problem. Use environmentally friendly ground contact pressure treated wood like CCA, untreated wood will rot quickly. When leveling the frame on uneven ground dig a trench on the upper side which will be easier to seal. The large 4x4 posts are to keep the greenhouse anchored in wind. Use Schedule 80 Pipe if possible, other pipe will be weaker. The mid rib PVC pipe is cut into about 22 ½ in long pieces and rejoined with the cross joints. EMT tubing in the mid-rib (number 14) or spine strengthens the rejoined tube. Use two or more people when bending and anchoring the PVC ribs into the EMT strap loops(number 4) to prevent damage to the joints and ribs. Stapling down the plastic cover is the best way to attach it, allow some extra plastic to extend and be covered with dirt to help make a seal. Find some old garden hoses and punch drip holes or use drip irrigation tube, it will stay under the ground sheet for drip irrigation. Lay down ground sheet plastic and punch holes for your baby plants, or a few inches of sand or gravel, these limit mud and weed problems. Bury the edges of the greenhouse plastic with soil or sand, it is important that the edges be sealed to keep rainwater and moles out. Even in the coldest weather be careful that a small heater or heat lamp doesn't overheat the greenhouse, in summer open the door if overheating. This greenhouse design will support four inches of snow, if there is more snow add additional prop supports Connect twine hanging from the ribs for vine and soft plants. As the plants grow help them twist around the twine for easier vertical growth. This works great for cucumbers, beans, and tomatoes. Flowers and food for sale can be grown year round in most areas. If you need more room extend the length of the greenhouse following this design, a wider frame will be weak in wind and snow. If you need to save money leave out the door but not the wood door frame and use overlapping plastic flaps. Illustrations and design courtesy of North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, modified for Steal This Book Today Bill of Materials Item 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Qty. 16 6 2 32 2 2 4 4 4 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 Description ¾ in. PVC Schedule 80 Pipe, 10 ft long ¾ in. PVC Cross Joints, Schedule 80 ¾ in. PVC Tee Joints, Schedule 80 ¾ in. Galvanized electrical metallic tubing (EMT) Straps 2”x6”x14” Outdoor Treated No. 2 Pine Boards 2”x6”x12” Outdoor Treated No. 2 Pine Boards 2”x4”x7” Outdoor Treated No. 2 Pine Boards 2”x4”x6” Outdoor Treated No. 2 Pine Boards 4”x4”x2” Outdoor Treated No. 2 Pine Boards 2”x4”x3” Outdoor Treated No. 2 Pine Boards 1”x4”x12” Outdoor Treated No. 2 Pine Boards (to cut up for door parts) Set of door Hinges Sheet of Plastic 24 ft x 20 ft, 4 mil thickness ½ in.x 10ft. Galvanized Electrical Metallic Tubing PVC cleaner PVC cement misc nails, screws, and staples Plastic Sheet Bury old perforated hose or drip irrigation tube under black UV plastic sheet along the planned rows of crops, open small holes for your plants or seeds, it will reduce the need for herbicides and weeding in an open field. The Organic Way As various studies can show, you don't need to dump fertilizers and pesticides on your plants to have a thriving farm/garden. The organic methods of gardening re-sprouted in the 70's when a few of the hippies and yippies took to the country in order to have a cheaper and peaceful life. After the conservative era of the 80's, and spreading from the the Pacific Northwest and Vermont in the 90's, more people really began finding the advantages of growing organically in the last few years. Organic Pesticide Solutions • Rotenone the extract from roots and stems of several tropical and subtropical plant species belonging to the genus Lonchocarpus or Derris. It was first used as a fish poison, its powder is an effective pesticide and is only moderately toxic to humans, birds, and mammals. Rotenone is allowed by most organic certifying agencies. Tobacco leaf extract can be made as a tea from tobacco and sprayed onto your plants, one cup of tobacco to one gallon of water. Do not use on pepper, eggplant, or tomato plants. One clove garlic and 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper crushed and soaked in warm water work effectively, filter and spray onto plants. • • • Mild soap solution sprayed onto plants will ofter repel pests, a mild salt solution often works too. Most plants with strong odors or sharp flavor have these attributes to repel insects, try alone or in combination to eliminate insect problems. • Organic Fertilizers Organic farmers use animal manure, manufactured seed meal, home and garden compost, and mulching as well as several natural mineral powders like rock phosphate and greensand, a naturally occurring form of potash. Used tea leaves are very good for restoring nutrients to the soil. What else would you do with them anyway? Straw can also be used super effectively as an organic mulch. Compost Composting is the natural breakdown and return to soil of organic wastes such as garden and kitchen wastes. It is best to keep your home composting to the waste of vegetarian animals and vegetable matter, meat and dairy require higher composting temperatures, consider burying this waste instead. Once the composting is under way, start a new bin or pile and use the older heaps for garden fertilizer. If you are involved in a food co-op or something similar, such as a commune, or even a group of like-minded individuals living on your street, you should designate someone as the official composter. Sending all of your organic waste to the compost cuts down on your waste output as well as that of the whole world. Once the compost batch is done, distribute it out to those growing food. Soil Nitration Some crops like wheat will remove nitrogen and nutrients from the soil, while others actually increase available nutrients. It is important to remember that one crop crown continually will burn out a field and will attract pest infestation. Some examples of good rotations to improve overall soil nutrition are alternating rice then cotton, or soybeans then maize, old Europe farmers planted rye the first year, oats or barley the next year and nothing the third year. The Irish potato famine could possibly have been prevented had crop rotation been used. Sweet-clover is a great fallow cover crop with very high nitrogen fixation but be careful as it can cause bloat in some animals if they get into it. Use all available compost and green manure to improve soil nutrition. Chemical herbicides and pesticides can kill the nitrate fixing bacteria in the roots of your plants. Nitrogen fixation in legumes grown under irrigation of 8 inches of water per year Crop Fababean Field Pea Lentil Soybean Chickpea Dry bean Nitrogen Fixed Symbiotically (lb N/ac) 267 (Must have proper irrigation or nitrogen fixation drops greatly) 178 134 134 108 (good in dry soil) 62 Sweet-Clover 223 When we grow tired of war as a species there will be a great surplus of explosives and gunpowder, consult a soil chemist as to which powders and explosives can be safely turned into valuable nontoxic nitrogen fertilizer. Farm Animals Bees If the bee hive colony collapse disorder turns around, a fun way to commune with nature and help out your own crops is to start and run a bee hive. Try to be organic in you bee farm by not using weird chemicals. Some claim the bee mite problem is caused by over sized artificial bee honeycombs, making over-sized bees. which can have their windpipe infected by mites. Others claim it is due to the constant movement of bees. Bees like to stay in one place. Don't bother them by constantly moving their hive or smoking them. Leave them part of their honey for food. Don't completely substitute corn syrup. Chickens Even if you only have a small available run area, raising chickens will help eliminate some bugs and provide you with eggs. Use a bright light after laying to find the unfertilized eggs. These will rot if not harvested. Let your chickens run wild if possible, as they will usually stay near the feed. Ducks, quail, pheasants, and peacock are also fun to raise for eggs. These birds can live off of cracked grains and corn. It is easy and cheap to mail order live poultry chicks if you don't have a farm store nearby. Goats Goats will start giving milk after having their first litter of kids. As with chickens they need place to be free and they like a high place to stand on sometimes. Some goats can be trimmed for wool. Sheep Domestic sheep are friendly although a little dumb, they need a lot of help which a smart sheep dog will provide The natural maternal instincts of a Shepard dog pushes them to herd and protect these sweet dumb animals. Pick a breed that won't be too hot in your climate. Once a sheep has lambs you can start milking the sheep. Shear sheep right before hot weather sets in. Sheep are too dumb to move if they have eaten all of the grass and will mow an area bare, don't let your sheep cause erosion problems, keep them moving. Cows American size cows take up too many resources to be practical. If used as a tractor to pull a plow or wagon having a cow might be justified. Cows are easily seen from the road by agriculture dpt. inspectors, a problem once compulsory animal registration is enforced. Donkeys A donkey is a great choice for a labor helper animal. They are usually gentle and sweet if treated well. Horses are mostly a wasteful extravagance in both food and care, you can walk while the donkey pulls a cart or carries a proper load. Free Clothing and Furniture Often you can find free chairs, couches, TVs, and all sorts of other stuff listed on the "Free" section of See also: and see if there's one in your city. They generally like it if new members offer something before requesting other things, but I've heard its a good resource. Bedbugs Free furniture carries the risk of bedbugs: small, hard-to-kill, blood-sucking insects which can infest mattresses, couches, and other cushy furniture. While evidence shows that they don't directly spread disease, there bites can be unpleasant and you do not want them. There are two ways to kill bedbugs: heat and starvation. Furniture that can withstand steam-heat can be sprayed down with steam before being brought into your home. Furniture that cannot be steamed can be airtight sealed in plastic for 3-6 months. Clothing Some clothing stores have racks of clothes outside of the store which are on clearance or sale. You can easily steal a few items and leave without being noticed. Keep in mind that this is shoplifting, so standard penalties apply. Free Clothing If you can plead poverty, places like Salvation Army thrift stores will give you an expense account or deep discounts on items. Warm Improvised Clothing If the weather changes quickly or you get a slush or snow storm you will need to improvise some warm clothes until you can get some. Boots You can turn regular shoes into winter boots by putting a wool or warm sock onto your foot followed by a sealed plastic bag and then finished with a cheap sport sock to protect your plastic bag. Don't expect the plastic bag to last for long hikes but it will let you travel outside without fear of immediate soaking in cold slush. We have found that one or two layers of bread bags work well. It is important to change to dry inner socks at least twice a day or when they feel damp. Insulated Coat If you already have a thin insulated coat you can boost the insulating power by carefully cutting stuff holes in the liner where you can insert crumpled balls of newspaper as an insulating layer, be careful that your cuts are not destroying your coat. If you plan to use paper balls as removable insulation on a regular basis you might consider sewing long pockets into the inside you your jacket for this purpose. Something like this Rainwear Most hardware stores sell plastic sheet by the meter or yard, we often use this for shelter and greenhouse building projects. Another use is to create a somewhat durable rain poncho for a few cents. Open a head hole and form a hood from extra plastic sheet. You can join everything using packing tape. This should get you by for around a week which we hope will be time to find something better. Rainwear worn as a top layer will also increase the insulating power of a jacket even if it is not raining but don't seal yourself up so much that condensation and sweat destroys the insulating power. Free shoes Write the shoe company of your choice claiming you were in a motorcycle accident wearing their shoes and that you were hospitalized, but your feet came out totally unscathed thanks to their shoes. They'll usually send you at least one free pair. I pulled this scam with Adidas and got 2 pairs of $120 running shoes totally gratis. Just find some pictures of motorcycle wrecks online and send them along as "proof." Make Your Own If you can beg or borrow a sewing machine, loose comfortable clothes are just a few stitches away. Try asking grandma for her old Singer machine, she might think you are getting over your rebel phase. Even the battery powered pocket sized machines sometimes sold under the Singer name are better than no sewing machine, even though they can only chainstitch hems and edges. Get a wall power adapter and maybe devise a foot control pedal, they also need a special needle so order several of these. Start with simple trousers, skirts, and ponchos. For material, you can recycle cloth from damaged or otherwise unsaleable clothing discarded by thrift stores, or you can buy unmatched cloth remnants at an on-the-bolt fabric store. With a little practice you can even make your own tents, backpacks, and bivvy sacks. Look for camping gear sewing patterns in 1970's vintage books. Knitting is a good way to spend your time if you are at a sit in demonstration (regardless of gender). Knitting needles also are a discreet defensive weapon even if they are plastic. Sandals You can cut out pieces of semi-thick cardboard slightly large than outlines of your feet and cover them completely with clear packing tape. Drill or punch small holes... • • Between your big and second toe, and just past the ball of your foot (on both sides) for flipflops. String chord or straps from the middle hole to the side holes. On both sides of your toes and just before and after your heel on both sides. String cord or straps diagonally from behind your heel to in front of your heel in an X pattern, with clasps/buttons (of course!), and then also just across the tops of your toes. Now you have some handy, sturdy, water-proof sandals. Experiment with cardboard layers/thickness and strap materials. You could even use discarded shoe soles and laces! The benefit of sandals not made from tires is that you won't smell like asphalt on a hot day. Tire Sandal Warning: Make sure the tire does not have steel cables running through it for reinforcement! Only nylon or rayon will work. DIY Tire Sandal How To - Free Furniture Free Box Furniture Most shipping companies (especially UPS and FedEx, but also the US Postal Service) will ship you boxes and other shipping supplies for free. You can simply fit these boxes together to build chairs and tables. "FedEx Furniture" has examples ( If you have an eBay account, you can go to and use that to receive boxes from the USPS. Table Two saw horses or police/construction barricades + one door = one large dinner table or desk. (Remember to remove the door knob.) Foam and Bean Bags If you have a knack for sewing you can make simple bean bag type furniture and fill it with whatever stuffing you can get your hands on, those Styrofoam shipping pellets are surprisingly comfortable in a bean bag seat. If you manage to liberate some closed cell foam like is used in most furniture and some kids mattresses you can use this as a more solid filler for your furniture. A piece of Nichrome wire and the proper power supply (measure the ohms of the cutting wire with a multimeter and add resistors if needed) you can make a large hot wire foam cutter. Recycled Junk If you know where your local newspaper is located, their dumpster will surely have some of the thick cardboard tubes from the huge rolls of newsprint. These are about six feet long, and can be cut into pieces for use as legs on desks, tables, etc., but not chairs, as they are too thick (6"-8"). Either way, four three-foot sections of that tubing, and a 3x5 piece of plywood liberated from your local construction site will make a bitchin' table. Another free table is the big wooden cable spools used by the power and phone companies. Auto-man Furniture If you or a buddy has an old beater that will only sell for pennies, or is totaled, offer to take the seats off his hands (if you're really ballsy, lift one from someone else's car). Backseats, especially the bench-style found in older sedans and mini-vans make great couches if you put them up on some blocks. Also, the bucket seats that usually make up passenger seats and middle rows in vans can be converted into nifty easy chairs. If the car is old enough to not have electric seat adjustments, it will probably be a recliner, too. This means that bench seat can often be converted into a short double bed. Score! Lawn Furniture Lawn furniture is surprisingly useful indoors especially if you are moving in and out quickly to keep ahead of the man. It is light and folds up easily to fit into your car or bicycle trailer. Many people dump the one year old lawn furniture at the street in spring or fall. While a chaise lounge is all right to sleep on solo, making love is a good way to make it fall apart. Kids Stuff If you're having a baby, a crib can be made from a laundry basket and an easily washed pillow or a folded blanket in a pillowcase. A plastic bucket is great for bathing baby. Your stroller or a baby bike seat strapped to a chair make a cheap high-chair. A hand towel with a head hole cut and hemmed is a good washable bib. When traveling or taking a temporary home with children along, your camping ground mat or exercise mat is a great bed, there is no worry about falling out if they roll off, children usually prefer firmer beds. Diving for Furniture Making furniture out of scraps of garbage that you find around when doing urban forging can be wonderful, and any DIY shop will have salesmen willing to explain how, or you can check online for a DIY site. Additionally, furniture can be found whole when foraging, especially in the back of furniture stores, and drop offs, like the back of thrift stores. (Warning: Taking items dropped off at thrift stores or donation boxes constitutes theft of varying degrees depending on what jurisdiction you're in.) DIY Japanese Screen With a roll of butcher paper, some small brass hinges, and lightweight wood framing you can make Japanese type screens. Use these to make light movable dividers that will not take the light out of a room. Excellent for separating off a sleeping area which is cleaned up in the morning to make a larger living/work space. You will also have the option to paint and decorate your screens to your liking. If you are careful in placing hinges at the exact same locations on every panel (use a measuring tape and mark location with a pencil, then add the hinge) after your screen is built you can tap out the pins from the small brass hinges and insert a nail or cotter pin into where you removed the standard pin. Now you can connect as many panels together as you like for a wall and still easily take them down or separate when moving or redecorating. Beds Futon It is often possible to acquire a second hand futon pad with or without a frame, these are great for a convertible sleep and work area since they roll up or fold into a couch. As soon as possible a base must be made from something which will allow air to circulate under the pad otherwise you will likely ruin the pad with mold growth, this will also make the futon pad a health problem for future users. Check all new and used futon pads for mold. Several wood cargo pallets will provide sufficient ventilation to prevent mold growth. Frame Bed Get ahold of some two by four lumber, this is easier than it sounds, if you are squatting and can't afford find or buy lumber(which is the best choice by far) just rip some out of a non load bearing wall in an unused part of the house or garage, only use clean unrotted wood. If possible get some one by six lumber about 80 inches long too. You will want to make a bed frame that the inside area is 39 inches wide and 75 inches long, the size of a twin bed, that way you can use standard size sheets and blankets and maybe even scam a real mattress at some point. Read these directions twice with a handy friend before cutting or screwing anything together What you need • • • • • • • 2x 80 inch long 2x4 lumber 2x 40 inch long 2x4 lumber 2x 80 inch long 1x6 lumber (2x4 will work in a pinch) 12x 39 inch long 1x4 lumber (skimp too much and the bed will be weak) 1x box two inch wood screws 1x box one inch wood screws 4x 12 inch long 4x4 lumber An electrical drill to drive the screws helps, a professional grade cordless drill with extra batteries is best for disconnected squats • • • • • • • • • Leave the long (80 inch) boards a few inches long (you can trim the extra later) Lay the boards on edge on the floor and mark the location of the 39 inch boards with a pencil so that you have a 39x75 inch inner area Long 2x4 boards to the outside Screw wood screws through the two long 2x4 boards (on their edges) and into the 40 inch 2x4 boards (also on their sides) Measure the inside of the frame to be sure that a 39x75 inch mattress will fit (with a little extra space if possible) before continuing. You now have a rectangular frame. Screw the 1x6 boards down securely onto both sides with long screws flat against the bottom of the frame, attaching to the long boards as well as the 39in inner boards so the bed frame won't twist. Saw off the excess long board so it is flush with your 39 inch inner frame rails Place the 4x4 legs onto all four corners and use at least 8 screws to tighten them down through the 1x6 lumber(you should get helpers to hold the bed frame level for this so the legs mount flush) Screw your 1x4 slats down leaving even spaces, these gaps allow the mattress to breathe. If you have some plywood or left over lumber building a headboard and securely attaching it to the bed frame with 2x4 lumber makes it much easier to read in bed and keeps your pillow from falling off. Push two of these frames together to make a queen bed for a couple, this is easier to move and stronger than one big frame. Victorian Curtain and Canopy Bed When we think of Victorian four poster beds we forget that those long spindles were not for style but a place to hang the curtains and canopy turning a bed into a little tent of warmth. No more cold morning wakeups even in the coldest dampest squat, you can even hang your clothes up into your canopy and be warmly dressed before inhaling the cold damp air. A word to the wise even in a regular home curtaining your bed and dressing warm will reduce your home heating waste, think green! The height of your canopy poles is optional higher means easier dressing in the morning, lower means it is easier to keep warm. You don't need to use anything bigger than broom handles screwed tight to your bed frame with a few pieces of metal strapdown tape (fold in the edges so there is no sharp points). Use thin cotton bedsheets as curtains and canopy, they breathe the easiest and won't get too damp from condensation. Cut and hem to size, twin sheets should be pretty close in size, at the canopy corners reinforce and punch a large grommet, this will slip over a screw or peg at the top of your canopy poles, the same is done for the top two corners on each of your side curtains. It is a good idea to sew tie strings every foot or so so that the curtains can be puled tightly closed, a split overlapping curtain on the side you like to wake up on will make getting in and out easier but keep the draft out. If roof leaks are a problem in your squat think about using a tarp for a second upper canopy but make some sort of hoop frame to keep the condensation from your breath that sticks to the tarp from dripping onto you Mattress Foam is by far the cheapest mattress, go to any furniture repair, sewing, or upholstery shop to have a piece cut for you. Don't buy unless they let you lie down and try it out for the proper firmness. If you are handy with sewing or the shop sells them like that it is smart to cover the foam to keep gunk out. Failing that stack up those free homeless shelter blankets or dive some couch cushions from the dumpster of a furniture or thrift shop. Important advice to prevent mold growing inside your mattress in cool and damp conditions, flip the mattress every other day, every fourth day also turn it to face the opposite direction, this way different parts get a chance to dry out. Propping your mattress on an angle during the day with a stick or broom is also a good way to let it dry out, we also hear that occasionally dusting with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)might make mold growth less likely Reuse You can often find free furniture on and and other community sites, if you look in the free section for whatever area you are in. All you would need to do is contact the owner of the furniture and pick it up from the location listed there. Simplicity Try not to overload a small room or flat with too much furniture, we try to be simple and frugal. The acquisition of too much junk ties us down and makes boosting out and onto the road more difficult. Don't screw over friends and supporters by leaving a room filled with junk when you disappear. If possible live as much as possible out of your pack even during long term crashes. Moving the Stuff Hand Truck A hand truck or dolly will help a team of movers move the largest furniture, even a refrigerator can be moved across town by a minimum of two strong people on foot, be careful on hills and plan for emergency stopping. The best hand trucks for appliances are extra wide and have a big strap which will wrap around the appliance but rope and the right knots will help in a pinch. Strapping If you are likely to encounter stairs the only safe way (at least for the furniture or appliance) is to use heavy strapping to help you hand carry. We are talking about the heavy strap like is used for seat belts or making rappelling harnesses, we need something that will resist abrasion. One type of strap carrier uses between twenty and twenty five feet of strap and a heavy steel slide buckle (tied or sewn properly works too) to make a loop with adjustable size, be sure to slide a cutoff wool sock or tape over the buckle to prevent scratching your furniture. Your big loop crosses under your load and the loop ends rest on the shoulders of the two carriers. Stand up properly with straight backs and the load lifts as well. Free Shelter All over the world, the promise of increasing wealth has left behind a huge population of people who are unable to continually afford the inflating price of housing along with other basic services. Some people become homeless when that last paycheck is unable to cover rent for another month and they are evicted. Then, not having a home, and couch surfing to survive being hard on the schedule, they begin to experience trouble at work, they lose the ability to return to regular housing, and they become homeless. Others see the problem of the inflating economy and the slavery of debt-based home finance or permanent payout to a slum lord and refuse to play by the crooked rules of their game, they opt out, they are now out camping, homeless by choice. In the United States especially, homelessness is associated with the worst elements in society; the ones we are at war with; drug users, anarchists, the poor. This societal psychological distancing is required so the public will accept the regular abuses that they pay the police to perpetrate against those less than human. These protectors of justice strictly enforce that the laws forbidding the homeless to sleep in any but well hidden scarce shelters, thus protecting the public from seeing the reality and feeling the shame that they have not taken any real action to help the less fortunate. Often programs to assist the poor and homeless are corpgov pork programs to steal from the taxpayer and grease the palms of a few cronies. The homeless should be the ward of the radical since we are clearly the only ones who will take up their cause. There have been repeated stories of the homeless being paid by "corpgov activism" to picket for a cause; the homeless are our natural allies, not theirs. One of the most frightening aspects of not having a permanent address is the loss of most of your civil rights. Since you likely do not own the property where you camp (even if you do) the police and courts will empower themselves to search and seize your property either for trespass or for possibly being stolen. If the police can leave the scene with your things and not give you a receipt they have become de-facto owners of your things and you will have no way to retrieve them. The most vile aspect of state abuse of the homeless is taken in the name of child welfare. If the state feels that it has a compelling reason, it will confiscate your child and place them in a home where they will be properly programmed as good corpgov citizens. Many homeless people suffer from depression, as either a cause or effect felt by those who have been cast out against their will, without their corpgov insurance to pump them with prescription antidepressants. They often turn to taxed alcohol abuse or reliance on hard drugs. We must as brothers and sisters radicalize this population and give them something to strive for. If we let the welfare system do our job these people will be deactivated with a meager income just enough to keep them from trying to have a life. This tactic of depression and payoff has been effectively used to destroy (North American) Native, African originating, and other minority peoples movements in the United States and Canada. In our world we are seeing the full extent of the greed and manipulation that banking and finance can exert onto the basic human need of a safe place to lay their head for the night. This basic desire along with the need for an expensive education have been harnessed through the use of loans at interest paid off over around half an average lifetime to enslave the Amerikan and much of the worlds population. Fearing for their house and confiscation of their worldly goods a person becomes a willing or unwilling robotic tool for the super rich who need a moving economy to harvest from. Because low cost alternatives to the traditional condo and house allow a way out of this contrived enslavement there is immense political pressure to destroy these alternatives in the name of keeping housing market prices up. When demonstrating against corporations let at least part of your wrath fall upon these banks. The Street Many of the homeless in the North America are youth turned out by hateful, abusive, or perverse parents or step-parents. This chapter is to address the needs of a street person during the first few hours to weeks until they find a safe support group and hopefully some kind of proper shelter. The language of this chapter is mostly directed toward teenage women but the survival tips apply equally to both sexes and any age. The streets are not an option in terms of living, the fact that you are out there means you had to run before there was time to plan, you must move quickly to find safe shelter and support. For those who have been abandoned on the streets and forced to make terrible choices Just because you might have sold your body for sex to survive does not make you a prostitute Just because you begged for money to survive does not make you a beggar, Just because you stole to survive does not make you a thief Just because you sold drugs to survive does not make you a drug dealer Just because you did drugs to survive the hurt does not make you a dope fiend You ARE an important leader at the spearhead of our struggle, stand up to right the wrongs of society Reasons to Leave Home If you are seriously considering leaving the reasonably free supply of food, clothing, heat, bed, and roof over your head you must have a very good reason. But NEVER trade sex or abuse from your alleged guardians for these!! Leaving might be the right choice, but the street is what happens when you have no choice, think hard, don't you have a relative, friend, teacher, co-worker, anyone you can go to for shelter to avoid the street? Physical Abuse If you are in a situation where you fear for your personal safety or have already been assaulted you should do two things first of all file a police complaint and open a file with family services documenting the problem. It will probably save the whole family from the physical abuse of the type you have been suffering. Unfortunately abused parties like drug addicts suffer from withdrawal, you may be in more hot water for removing the abuser from the home by those who remain. If these actions cause no change and you have tried every other place to hide it might be worth risking a flight away even to the dangerous cold streets to escape worse violence at home. Sexual Abuse At the first sign of sexual abuse leave your house and open a file at welfare services and the police as well as demanding a temporary restraining order be placed that day. You must do this to protect not only yourself but any other vulnerable family members. If the police, court, or social worker takes no action attempt to find a friend or relative to hide with. Sometimes this separation is all that is needed. Especially in second or third abusive relationships you might not be able to expect even your mother to believe your claims of abuse, unfortunately this may be the end of your relationship with your sick family. Only as a last ditch emergency action should a girl go onto the streets to avoid rape or sexual abuse since a teen girl is also a prime target for street predators. Reasons not to Leave Home Annoyance with your parents or siblings, discipline, or school related problems are probably best dealt with in your own home, you have no idea how bad the streets can be especially for a girl, a sexist world it is, most every perv wants to take a piece of a teenage girl. We are not worried that you will remain homeless for more than a few days, our concern is that your leaky roof and stained bed will be owned by a brutal pimp and your rent will be paid in depraved sex acts with diseased strangers. Dangers on the Streets Since you have no safe storage on the streets everything you own must be with you at all times, this leads to the bag lady or shopping cart homeless that you have seen. If you are underage you are unable to sign a legal contract for a car or apartment and are considered something similar to property of your parents or guardians, get a fake ID as soon as possible. Most cities make it illegal for the homeless to sleep hoping it will make them disappear or die, when you are asleep behind a bush or on a bench you can expect others to rifle through your bags and pockets stealing any useful or valuable things they might find, not to mention placing you in a very vulnerable position for physical or sexual abuse. Worse yet a young woman without any hand to hand combat training is at the mercy of a huge abusive rapist type. Your best defense is being in good shape and sprinting away from the first sign of trouble. Sometimes you happen to be in a dead end street or the exit door is blocked there is no option of running away. While some confused orthodox liberal feminists and well armed cops may disagree, the idea that an armed woman is just some weakling who is only going to turn over her weapon to her attacker is just foolish. On the way out of your abusers house(only if you have safety and time) grab his gun and some bullets, or spend some precious money and buy your own handgun. You must learn how to safely use that gun, try to get a carry permit too. see Piece Now If during your fight for survival you become somehow involved with someone who is in the drug trade and are arrested at the same time as them you can expect the system to attack you like a mother bear. Once you are convicted with a felony drug crime almost all social services including health care, food stamps, and student aid can be denied to you for the rest of your life. It seems to us that the system needs to maintain a class of people who only have the option of larceny, selling drugs, or prostitution. It is catch-22 laws like this among other abuses that make us realize the legal governance of our nation has been left behind. Unprepared Most decisions to hit the streets happen in a fearful rage after an attack. Hopefully you got out with at least a warm jacket shoes and clothes. Unless you managed to grab a wallet or purse you have no money, ID, or phone. In this case you must find the first police station or hospital and report the crime, but be wary of giving identifying information, you don't want your abuser to convince the cops to send you home. Many people make the mistake of wandering the streets for hours or days as the evidence quickly looses its potency. Get help but be cautious if the help includes a lock down type facility. As an aside if you managed to grab your mobile phone, think hard who pays the bill and who controls the account. Your abusers can easily file a missing person report or even a stolen phone report and track you down that way, you might just pull the battery out to be safe for a few days. Credit or debit cards also leave a trace where they were used, if you really need cash have a friend with a car withdraw cash from an ATM on the other side of town. Evil Helpers There are those men (and occasionally women) who prey sexually on the freshly homeless. Be wary of a single man of any age who offers you a place to stay with no strings attached in his own home. Never accept room and board for any kind of sexual favor. Never accept any drinks or drugs from strangers or those you have recently met. NO MATTER HOW DEPRESSED YOU ARE DON'T DO ANY DRUGS OR ALCOHOL. Even churches cannot always be considered a safe place, the same is true with homeless youth shelters, unfortunately these low pay positions are an easy place for men who want to abuse young women to meet their prey. Be on very high alert and avoid places where prostitution is common, pimps may recruit by coercion or they may just kidnap rape and begin to sell the body of a young woman. Many pimps use the introduction to hard drug addiction and controlled supply method to enslave women. Again do no drugs when you are on the streets! Choosing Good Helpers Only accept help from a religious worker or volunteer once you see their home has what appears to be a normal relationship and children, don't stay alone by any singles, widowers or divorced, a normal dinner with the family should usually be enough to scan for weirdness, especially watch how the kids interact with their parents, look for fear. Some Christian types may try to push their faith on you, you already know what you believe you don't owe them that, pretending that you are listening is a small price for a safe roof and food to eat until you can get on your feet, but you can also be looking for another place to stay. DO NOT ABUSE THIS TRUST, DO NOT STEAL FROM THESE HELPERS!! If you need something ask. There are cults that might take you in even give you a place to sleep, be careful and bolt if it appears that they are into locking down doors, brainwashing, punishments, or trading food for conversion or good deeds. Personal Needs Until you can find what is a safe place to stay the temptation is there to shoplift for your needs, this might indirectly solve your shelter problem with a night in jail but it could also dump you back in you abusive and now wary former home. Shelters Most shelters require a sign up some time in the early afternoon, stop by a few of them and see which ones are clean and which ones will try to turn the underage back over to their abusers. Homeless shelters are one of the first places the police check during a man hunt. Expect to have your stuff pawed through as you sleep unless you are literally on top of it, stash valuables someplace safe before hitting the shelter for the night. Food If you knock on doors you would be surprised how most people will give you either part of a warm dinner or at least a can of creamed mushroom soup that was in back of the cupboard if you ask nicely. See Free Food for more ideas. Getting Off Drugs see Free Dope, Getting Clean Services Before identifying yourself be sure that the service you are checking into will not inform your abusive family of your location. Rape and Battery Support Groups Some of the best services for women are rape and battery support groups, some will even match you with a safe house of a formerly abused woman to stay with and counseling. Don't get freaked if some of these women are a little fragile or weird, they have had to glue their shattered life together from some serious shit, you are part of their healing. DO NOT STEAL OR TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM! Be wary that some groups are based on the premise that all men are evil, overlook this and work on your healing. State Welfare Services This varies from one state to another be careful since some states if they believe your story will throw you into something similar to juvie hall for abused kids. As we know abused people learn to abuse be careful not to jump from the pan into the fire. Foster Home Most often a state welfare agency will send you to a foster family who will assume full parental power over you for at least a limited time. These people are often unsung heroes but like some teachers may have become burned out and now do the service for the stipend. Keep your eyes open for potential abuse which sometimes occurs and keep in good contact with your social worker. It is a good idea to set up escape plans now while things are cool in case the freaks at state welfare decide you are a liar and send you back to your abusers. Stashing escape gear, making deals with friends or relatives for emergency shelter is vitally important. Take counseling seriously and if you feel that the worker is getting nowhere with you ask if another social worker could be assigned. Stealing In some times and places you may be forced to shoplift to survive although if you look around there is usually an alternative. But Never steal from those who take you in to help you! You are first of all hurting yourself as you seriously risk being turned back out back to the cold street, you also burn the people they might have helped survive in the future. If you have a need for some survival item or cash ask them, or get it in some other way. Mail One of the difficulties with getting social services when homeless is that you have no proper mailbox to use when applying for aid. In 1994, the Postal Service issued a ruling that the homeless are eligible for a PO Box if they can provide a piece of official identification, a way to be reached, or proof that the postmaster knows them. The rule also declared that homeless people are entitled to general delivery service indefinitely, not for just 30 days. Unfortunately in some locations the US Postal Service has done everything it can to deny postal service to the homeless person. You could try applying at the post office for a PO Box with your pre-eviction address before you get the kicked out, use the address of a homeless advocacy agency with their permission, or the address of a friend. Once you have the PO Box you don't really need to worry about the street address unless the they ask for updated information. An added benefit to having a real PO BOX is that in some offices you receive an after hours code to the heated mailbox room, which is of course locked so the homeless won't sleep there. General Delivery is a great choice for you if carrier service or a PO Box is not an option. Your mail will be held at a Main Post Office for up to 30 days and can be picked up at any retail window. This is the easiest starter option if you don’t have a permanent address. The zip+4 code 9999 means general delivery. The only real pain is if you have a long schlep to a main (full size) post office. Here is an example of how to address general delivery in the US: Abby Hoffman General Delivery Washington DC 20090-9999 Health Clubs Would you ever expect us radical Yippie types to suggest you go for one of the biggest CorpGov ripoffs of all, the gym? Yup. Athletic clubs basically subsidize the price of membership because ninety percent of the overweight slaves who sign up never show up for the first week, but they are stuck in some crazy year contract. If possible beg the ID from a person who resembles you or modify the ID and use his key card to get in. Once the employees get to know your face they will check your ID less, don't get to friendly though since the homeless are really not welcome at these clubs. Women may want to find a women's only club so they don't have to put up with guys harassing or oggling them. Even if you have to pay it is often worth the money if you are without a proper home for the following services: • • • • • Clean Showers-you have no idea how nice a private clean shower stall is when you are in a filthy squat or shelter hopping. Therapy Pool(warm pool)-the streets are cold in the winter, it is amazing what an hour in a therapy pool will do for your back and muscles cramped from nights on the ground shivering. Sauna-If we manage to find an abandoned room the chances of it having proper heating are pretty low, often we can find a dank damp moldy building to squat somewhere. An hour or so sweating it out in this dry air and cleaning the fungus and mold out of your lungs can make such a difference in your health and energy level. This is also an oppertunity to dry our your feet and treat immersion foot. Exercise Equipment-not that we really need it so much, we are on our bicycles or walking all day but it is a good idea to work your abs and back groups to prevent back injury. Use the stretching stations to limber up and prevent injury. Locker, try to rent a big one, this may be your only safe storage space. If you want this plan to work you need to visit a public restroom and pre-clean yourself, at least your visible areas, before hitting the club, also put on some bagged clean cyclist or workout clothing. The employees must NEVER know that you are homeless or they will surely try to terminate your membership! Guys, Gals, Roommates, and Safety Pacts A word to the young women (but can also apply to young men and homosexuals of both sexes) who are forced out of their family home and in one of the many less desirable shelter scenarios presented in this book. Until you get a serious case of street smarts (don't ever fool yourself that takes several hard years and lots of very painful mistakes) be very wary of taking residence where there are any males in the mix. Unfortunately thanks to a chemical called testosterone, that courses in amazing quantities through the veins of males from their early teens onward, the normal rational judgment of even the sweetest smartest guy is clouded to a varying extent when it comes to interaction with young women. If possible make your life easier by rooming or crashing in a female only environment, if at all possible with a strong locking door and secure windows. All of the catty female politics that might annoy you are infinitely simpler and safer than dealing with some confused guy who might decide to stalk you or try to get his hands on you. Your best plan is to make a long term pact with one or two trusted like minded women who swear to stay together and guard the safety of the others first above any other consideration. It is also every womans (and every revolutionary) responsibility to watch out for the safety and care of newly homeless girl and to guide her into her own safety pact group. Crash Pad Romance Nearly every person in our movement is a decent honorable person but we want to leave no room for error with our most vulnerable, the abused run-away. Let your mixed social interaction take place only in public or group areas. Realize that an abused person may have varying feelings toward romantic advances varying from disinterest to active revulsion, pushing the issue can not only prolong and interfere with their healing but may also lead to a misunderstanding and serious allegations of misconduct against you. Mental Illness A reality is that a percentage of those seeking or living in alternative housing are not there as a form of protest against a broken CorpGov system but because they have untreated and sometimes dangerous mental illness, do what you can to see them get proper treatment, at arms length if you must, but don't make them your problem as well, choose your friends and roommates wisely. Survival Shelters The idea is to somehow get inside and warm and safe. Homeless shelters, squats, and alternative shelter can all provide some of what you need if you can get inside, anyone who has been out knows that emergency bed space for both men and women is a precious and limited commodity often denied for dubious reasons, especially considering the crazy rules and waiting lists that can be involved. Sympathy Psych If you can dress and clean up nicely and act the non-destitute, normally successful part people will actually have more sympathy for you as they see a small reflection of themselves and their life in your situation. This might get you into shelters, peoples homes, and other options where a "gross" homeless guy would be turned away in disgust, play to your audience for success in sheltering. Women should not overplay abuse or fragility, no matter how hard it is acting as "normal" as possible will pay off in protecting and sheltering yourself and any children with you. Destitute Sheltering If all else fails and you are stuck overnight outside we would hope you have some wilderness camping gear and can get to a park. Most homeless forced to sleep outdoors are not so well equipped due to theft, dire poverty, or breakage. Even a cardboard box and a plastic trash sack is better than nothing at all, try to insulate with cardboard and crumpled newspaper, this could save your life. Keep your torso, groin, neck and head insulated at all costs. Hide under anything that will give some protection from the elements. Alcohol and Cold It may make you feel warmer but alcohol will speed the progression of hypothermia(getting too cold) by letting all of you heat out of your core areas to your arms, legs, head, and face, hypothermia is the leading cause of overnight death in the homeless population. Don't drink alcohol to stay warm! Hot Water No matter how you do it, acquire a thermos and keep it filled with hot water, you should be drinking this hot water by the gallon every day and night. It is usually not to hard to walk right in to a restaurant, convenience-market, or gas station, you can be filled up before the staff can even begin to complain or kick you out. The other good source for hot water is to use a pocket stinger heater, see Pack Your Bag, Immersion Boiler, just plug in wherever you can find power, many outdoor signs have a place to plug in just keep your eyes open, power plugs are everywhere even outside. Most hot water faucets you will encounter just don't put out water warm enough to keep usable heat even if stored in a thermos. Even if you are not getting enough calories in you diet drinking the hot water will save the caloric energy you would have used to keep you warm in cool or damp weather meaning you can get by on less. Other Tips See Free Clothing for tips on increasing the warmth of your clothing. Other Help Call 911 if you think the cops can help you or get to a pay phone and dial these free numbers National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800 799 SAFE Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) Hotline: 800 656 HOPE National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 866 331 9474 See Free High School for information on how to get emancipated, becoming a legal adult before 18 See Low Impact Crashing and Squatting for more homelessness tips Low Impact Crashing Intro When, for whatever reasons, you're Homeless or Living on the Streets (I called it "Being Houseless" when I was living rough, 'cause Home, Baby, is where the Heart Is!), cleanliness can help in so many ways, and yet it is one of the first things to get blown off by some people due to the foul attitude that sometimes accompanies being Houseless against your will. Stay cool, and dedicate yourself to remaining clean and healthy, no matter how bad The Man wants you looking nasty to give fearful yuppies another reason to avoid confronting the nastier problems in our society. Tell yourself that staying clean and healthy is your way of saying "Fuck You" to stereotypes of homelessness and poverty. Maintaining a high standard of personal hygiene can turn around people who would normally be quite hostile to brothers and sisters who are either down on their luck, or simply unable or unwilling to tolerate normal (abusive) employment conditions. You will often find yourself with access to an abandoned building, open unused room, and maybe even a bed in a house but for social, security, or other reasons no access to a normal kitchen, laundry, or bathroom. Many of your needs will be met using your regular camping gear like sleeping bag, ground mat, and stove but often you can take advantage of the utilities and environmental control offered, but beware security systems. Check out Pack Your Bag for easy packable urban crash gear. Kitchen Portable Electrical Cooking You will likely have access to electricity once indoors. If that's the case it is better to use this for cooking than risk fire and waste expensive fuel using your fuel stove. See Cheap Chow for some pocket immersion cooker (stinger) recipes. If you are in a location where you will be staying for a while a hot plate, or coffee cup warmer and Sierra cup for minimalists might even be smarter to cook with than a stinger since there is no fear of gooping up your heater. Pots and Containers Camp pots and pans work great. Acquire used plastic food buckets for washing and trash/compost/recycling, and plastic bags for storage. Large, empty and very clean cans can be used as cooking pots. Just remember that if the food inside is hot, so is the can. Use pot holders of some sort, or hold it carefully with a pair of pliers at the lip. Keep your food in resealable containers like plastic bags or deli tubs. Food left out can either spoil or attract unwanted critters of all types. Remember to keep anything that touches your food (including your hands) as clean as you can. Also, zipper seal type bags can be washed out and reused. Turn them inside out to air dry. Refrigeration If there is no refrigerator, get ice from the local convenience store or fast food joint and put it in a plastic bag with your food. If you buy a large bag of ice, keep it closed. When it melts, you will have clean drinking or washing water. If you can score a cheap Styrofoam cooler, do so and use it! Some of the pharmaceutical cartel cold transport boxes even come with an ice-gel pack that if you collect enough can be refrozen by sympathizers with freezers, water filled frozen soft drink bottles work good too and you can drink the thawed contents. Often just asking nicely will get the drug dealers (pharmacist) to save these cold boxes for you. Since it was free you won't be too sorry leaving it behind if the cops or security sweep and clear your squat. Microwaves Make friends with the staff of a nearby convenience store, most have microwaves for heating up the junk they sell. If you ask nicely, you may be able to use these to heat food you've acquired elsewhere as well as the expired one day foods the employees let you "rescue". Sterno If the electricity or gas is out, a Sterno-style camp stove that folds flat can be worth its weight in gold. While canned gel fuel burns for two hours on average, the metal "candle" types with liquid fuel used for buffet warming pans (often called "chafing fuel") can burn for as long as six. Just remember to burn them in a well-ventilated area. Drink Can Stove An inexpensive spirit(alcohol) stove can be made from 2 soft drink cans. Both cans are cut about 4cm above the bottom and the center flat/dome are of the bottom is removed from one, force the cut out center piece into the uncut half. Stretching one cut can with an unopened full soft drink can makes this easier, a few drops of water in the can to be stretched can be heated with a stove or lighter so it will pop off of the full can from steam. Make an inner wall up to the cut edge from left over can top and insert into the center hole of the stove. Punch small holes every 4mm. This stove can only safely burn methanol, 95% ethanol grain alcohol, antifreeze brake fluid, chafing dish fuel, and rubbing alcohol, although isopropyl or rubbing alcohol will produce some soot. CAUTION!! This basic model soft drink can stove has been field tested by us and it works well with care, but be careful as the fire that is caused by the Alcohol cannot be put out with water. One of our writers bumped his stove and almost had a room fire on his hands. Fortunately though he had an extinguisher close by to put it out with. But water didn't work. So be extremely careful with all of these open top alcohol stoves both manufactured and home made. A different possibly safer closed top spirit stove which will not spill is described here Other Stoves More detail on stoves in Backpacking and Camping#Food Preparation. Petrol and kerosene stoves can only safely be used out of doors on stone or mineral earth, or in a fireplace, that said some are able to generate amazing heat, the best are designed to quickly melt and boil snow for mountaineering teams, they are best for extended stays where fuel cost is an important consideration. Triangia of Sweden makes an ultra light cook set which includes an alcohol burner, It's not as fast to boil as cartridge gas but it's cheaper and MUCH safer than petrol/kerosene stoves indoors. It can be difficult to find spirit/alcohol fuels in some countries. Esbit butterfly type fuel pill burning stoves are a good emergency stove and don't take up much room. The Hexamine fuel pills look like large sugar cubes, are legal to mail in most countries, burn hot and give off no smoke. The bad side is that they often give a strong smell and noxious fumes (so never cook food directly over them outside of a pot or pan), can leave a heavy residue on your cookware, and are expensive compared to other fuel sources. Small kettle type or Pyromid brand folding charcoal grilles are good for secluded squats. REMEMBER! Never use any charcoal burning devices or barbecue (BBQ) grills indoors in a well sealed room, since the carbon monoxide can kill you! Always make sure that you are in a burn resistant area like on strictly sand or concrete or in a fireplace with a working chimney. The smell and heat of your stove, charcoal, campfire smoke, or cooking food may alert security or the police to your squat or activate fire suppression systems. Keep a pail of water and a box of baking soda, mineral earth, or salt handy should a fire break out. Baking soda and salt snuff out grease fires, while water causes them to spread. Dry mineral soil, such as sand or clay but not dry organic duff or mulch, works as a good extinguishing agent for all types of fire. Chimney Stoves You can get a much better ventilated fire using the chimney concept to accelerate the intake and output gas of a wood fire increasing the heat and greatly reducing smoke and smell. Find a piece of steel (other metals may melt) or cement pipe at least three or four inches wide. If all you have is a straight piece at least a eighteen inches tall cut or break a feed hole and light the fire, a cinder block or two can be broken into shape to make a stand to keep the chimney from falling over, cut several one inch wide half circle holes on top so the hot gas can escape around your pot. Even better is 18 inches of pipe for a chimney a 90 degree elbow and about a foot of horizontal feed pipe, this all increases the draft and makes for a hotter flame, you can partly block the intake side on the bottom to slow the flame, feed the fire with wood or charcoal pushed in with a stick. An ash hole at the back of the elbow will let you clean the stove while it is burning. You can also build a chimney stove with clay mud if you can find it where you are camped, dig out the fire area and just form a chimney, the heat will help fuse it into a useable stove, most cultures use a tapering cone shaped like a beehive. Cardboard and newspaper balls in the horizontal feed pipe help get the draft jet started and blow the coals or wood to blazing life quickly. Be careful as this stove can make lots of sparks with some kinds of wood and almost always with paper and grass, some screen over the top of the chimney will stop almost all sparks. Hobo Stove During the Great Depression of the 1930's, many of the destitute cooked their meals with Hobo Stoves. These were often made from large metal #10 cans (like one ones used for coffee), with holes cut along the sides near the top and bottom for ventilation, and a small covered opening at the bottom to put your fuel source (Cut a door, but leave enough for a hinge). Canned fuel works great for this, but put it on a heat-proof base like a cinder block, stone floor tile, or some bricks. If you use it outdoors, you can burn small scraps of wood, paper, or just about anything that will burn. Buddy Burner Often a buddy burner was used with the hobo stove, this was a tuna can with a strip of cardboard that is the same width as the height of the can, roll up tight like a snail shell to fit the can. Fueling with melted wax is best but food oil or kerosene can also be used although these are both a bit more dangerous and more difficult to carry, a powerful flame is produced. Be careful melting wax on anything but a double boiler, stove top melting can cause it to catch fire, liquid it is like a kerosene fire. To regulate flame use the can lid or aluminum foil, smother with a larger can or foil to kill the flames. To fuel the flame when it starts to die feed small chunks of wax onto the burning cardboard or spoonfuls of fuel. Hobo Grille and Oven If you don't have a nice BBQ grille you can always improvise. One of the ways the classical American grille does its job is by holding the heated gasses under the hood to cook from all sides. Build a buddy burner or buy a charcoal pre-heater can, the kind with holes in the bottom and a handle on the side, it is reasonably portable and pretty cheap. Get a grill from wherever old refrigerator shelves work, disposable foil BBQ grilles thrown out at parks are also a good source. Get a fire going and down to good coals, now put the grille over the top and follow with a large coffee can or cookie tin, the can will retain the heated gasses just like a grille hood or lid. Advanced Hobo Ovens The old buddy burner works well using charcoal, but an oven is useful in your squat. If you have a simple hot plate with a variable heat setting you can make a small oven. You will need: • • • • • • a coffee can or larger sheet metal box the metal coffee can lid for a floor plate a tool to punch holes Steel electric fence wire for grate and to suspend the floor plate an oven thermometer a ceramic plate or pot lid Both top and bottom of the can are removed and the can is placed onto the burner (an exposed coil type burner is better than a closed flat one). Three holes are punched about one cm. above the level of the burner. Wire is laced through these holes to suspend the loose can lid as a oven floor. Punch a ring of holes one cm. large about 2-3cm from the edge of this floor. 1/2 way up the can punch holes and lace wire to make a grate for food. A ceramic plate will sit on top to make the roof of your oven. Cut three or four small triangle vents in the top of the can to allow the heat to rise. A hole in the side near the grate can be punched so the thermometer probe can enter. Adjust the hotplate to set temperature, keep an eye on your thermometer for temperature drift. If a hot plate is unavailable you can attempt to use a 40-100 watt incandescent light bulb. Leave the bottom of the can intact except for a hole that you can thread the light bulb bottom through, adjusting temperature by opening holes in the top under the plate. The "Easy Bake Ovens" sold in toy stores work this way. Washing and Drying Clothing A plastic bucket and liquid dish soap (not dishwasher machine soap) will remove even tough stains in clothing. Regular laundry detergent powder works good but can stink up your pack and clothes if it is perfumed. Some soaps claim to be concentrated, look for the one that needs the least soap per load. There are metal agitators that can be bought through catalogs that specialize in non-electric households. Lacking that, you can use a rubber toilet plunger (preferably one that HASN'T been used in a toilet) and a large bucket. A metal washboard can come in handy if you will be staying for awhile, but might be hard to find in some areas. Try a store that caters to migrant laborers. You can use a sink instead of a washtub. In some stores you might find bars of washing soap. This can be used to pre-treat stains (Wet the soap, wet the stain, rub). Remember that some washing soaps like Fels-Naptha are strictly for clothing and not for personal use (but some swear by it for treatment for rashes caused by poison ivy and other skin-irritant plans). Make sure there is air circulation in the place you hang your clothes to dry or you might end up with a unhealthy mold problem in that room. Improvised Clothing see Free Clothing for ways to increase the insulating power of your clothing Clean Water Irrigation Irrigation systems can be tapped for water, this may be your easiest source if you are camped under a bridge, although it may not be safe to drink. Double check on that water since some irrigation systems, especially those in desert areas, often use "greywater" or "sullage" that is treated waste water (Yuck!) and is not safe for washing or drinking. If the nearby fire hydrants or junction boxes are painted purple, then that is the most likely case. Irrigation systems usually run on a timer and flow during the late evening so you will have to store the water you need for the day. Garden Hose If you have a friend in the forest or fire service they can likely get you the flat nylon jacketed garden hose that is thrown away after forest fires, you can also get this flat hose on a reel in garden stores, this packs small and light and is useful if you need to get water to your squat from a hose faucet or to wash up behind nearby bushes. Don't forget to get a light hose nozzle and valve. The knob on most public water faucets is removed so the homeless can't get a drink or wash, but most are standard square and are available at hardware stores, most useful to us is the key or tee shaped faucet knobs made to be carried in your pocket. For all but assured clean drinking water use your backpackers water filter or boil. Allow the hose to run for a few minutes or be careful to drain after every use to eliminate the problems of stagnant water. The FDA has standards for drinking water hose, so look for certification on the package if buying a new hose (The ones certified for drinking water use are often made of white plastic). Filtration If you need a water filter and can't afford a proper backpacking model maybe you want to make the terracotta/organic water filter which removes most harmful bacteria. This design is by a team in Manatuto in East Timor including ANU materials scientist Mr Tony Flynn. You will need: • • • straw and cow manure for fuel terracotta clay used tea leaves or coffee grounds or rice hulls 1- Take a handful of dry, crushed high clay mud. 2- Mix the clay with a handful of your organic material. 3- Add enough water to make a stiff biscuit-like mixture. 4- Form a cylindrical pot that has one end closed. 5- Dry the pot in the sun. 6- Surround the dried filters with straw. 7- Place in a mound of dried cow manure. 8- Light the straw and then top up the burning manure as required. Instructions: • • • • • • • • In less than an hour the filters will be finished. Fill the filter and let the water slowly drip through the bottom into another container. As far as effectiveness against bacterial pathogens and larger Giardia this filter removes 96.4 to 99.8 of E-coli bacteria, well within safe levels. Boiling When all that is available is questionable water but you do have a good fuel supply most parasites and other microscopic troublemakers can be eliminated with this method. • • • Filter water with a coffee filter, paper towel, or several inches of cloth stuffed tightly into a cut off bottle. Bring water to a boil and shut down, it is pasteurized. Collect and store water in a clean container free of contamination. Why just to a boil? And what is with the city always saying 20-30 min with additional instructions water temperatures? The reality is that above 160° F (70° C) all pathogens become inactive within 30 minutes and above 185° F (85° C) within a few minutes, so in the time to reach 212° F (100° C) all the bad microbes will become inactive. The first filtration is to remove larger microbes and cysts like Giardia which are a bit stronger. Bleach Unscented bleach can be used to purify water it you can't get it straight from a known safe faucet. This is the cheap Clorox type without any additives to improve colors or smell. Try to filter your water before treating. • • • Filter water with a coffee filter, paper towel, or several inches of cloth stuffed tightly into a cut off bottle 2 drops of bleach per quart of water 8 drops of bleach per gallon of water • • 1/2 teaspoon bleach per five gallons of water If water is still cloudy, double the dose of bleach. The treated water should be allowed to stand covered for 30 minutes, it should have a slight chlorine odor, if it doesn't give it another dose and let the water to stand for another 15 minutes. If the treated water has too strong a chlorine taste let it stand exposed to the air for a few hours. Be careful concentrated bleach will leave holes in your clothes if it spills or splashes, rinse out quickly. Fire Sprinklers Don't try to tap a fire sprinkler system for water! You will set off the alarm and your squat will be discovered. Once you drain even a few PSI from the system it will fill with water and alarm, if it is an air pressurized system. Water filed systems are often filled with an antifreeze mix, these systems also alarm and call the fire department if any water flow is detected. Bed Several layers of corrugated cardboard on a wood freight pallets make a passable mattress getting you off of a cold or damp cement floor. see also Free Furniture, Pack your bag, and Backpacking and Camping for more bedding options Bath Soap Going to a hotel in around noon and asking maids with their cleaning carts for a few bars of soap is one way to stock up. Asking a doorman at a nice hotel, just walk up as direct and nice as you can, and say, "I am homeless, may I please have one bar of soap?" will work more times than not. Bring a plastic grocery bag into a fast food restaurant and squirt out a good five or ten pumps of liquid hand soap. Store it wisely, or else the stuff in your pockets or backpack will be wet with sticky cleansing goop. A bottle of liquid soap with a neck cord is great for quick commando showers, and won't fall down to a disgusting bathroom floor. Indoor Bathing You can buy a special hose with a large rubber gasket-type stretch over connection that fits loosely over about half of the faucets you will find, turning the faucet into a long-hose shower head. It's available for a few bucks in the plumbing section of most of the big-box "Mart" stores, some pet stores, and hardware stores, it can turn a secluded public restroom with a floor drain into a private spa. Slowly turn on the water and keep the pressure down so the adapter doesn't pop off the faucet. These shower kits are reasonably lightweight and you can easily remove the rubber faucet adapter and get a proper threaded plumbing adapter for your regular faucet in most cases or for a garden hose, this will prevent wasted water and a wet mess, even with a good slip on fit the universal rubber adapter spurt lots of water at the faucet connection. For more privacy while washing off you might use a door jamb lock available at luggage stores, or a door stop to lock the bathroom, only use this option during off hours and at a location where there is another bathroom available for people to use. Leaving a hardware store lock hasp might work, but leaving that kind of obvious evidence of your activity might get that convenient bathroom closed. Frugal Bathing If you are overloading a squat or house and need to conserve hot water, are at a public restroom with a very small water heater, or you are dipper bathing from a bucket of warmed water here is a way to not waste your limited supply. • • • • 1-Wet yourself down 2-Turn off water 3-Soap up head, groin, armpits, and any places with tough dirt 4-Rinse If you are limited to a bucket you should use a large cup to wet and rinse yourself, dumping the bucket over your head is a good way to accidentally run out of water while you still have soap on your body. Wear sandals in any shower or communal bath area where foot fungus is possible; foot rot can ruin your best mode of transport. Hot Water Your electric stinger immersion water heater can be put into your wash bucket and used to warm around three or four gallons of water, enough for a dipper shower or a washcloth bath. In summer a dark colored garden hose laid out on the roof or pavement will collect solar heat and around noon you can take a nice hot shower by turning on the water. Outdoor Bathing One editor used to wash up in back of a church with a garden hose and a bar of hotel soap, drying himself off with his own shirt or pants, whichever was cleaner at the time. The clothes dry off in minutes, even faster if you first wipe the water off you with your hands and flick it away, and it's a great feeling knowing you can keep clean and healthy under your own power under nasty life conditions. A trick used by a number of hobos and rail-riders is to carry a large squirt bottle with diluted baby shampoo. The idea is to wet yourself down, squirt yourself with the diluted shampoo, lather yourself from head to toe, rinse yourself and then dry off. You'd be able to clean yourself in about 3 minutes. You can use your bucket and adapter shower hose to make a siphon shower. Submerge the whole shower hose set into the bucket and let the bubbles go out. Hang the bucket from a tree branch, pipe, or other hanger, now quickly bring the shower head down to a level below the bucket allowing the siphon to begin sucking water from the bucket (it might help to tie the other end of the hose to the bucket handle). Be sure the adapter end is as close to the bottom of the bucket as possible, if you have two feet of hose drop below the bucket it produces a nice spray. If you break the siphon just suck on the shower head (use the side of your mouth to suck and your cheek to seal most of the spray holes) until it starts flowing again. If this is too complicated you can hang a flower sprinkler and tip it with a rope to shower. If you are camped out or can't find a bucket use your sleeping bag stuff sack and a plastic shopping or garbage bag liner to hold the shower water. Don't use the draw string on the sack as this will likely rip out when you hang it up. Instead insert your hose and make several wraps of cord around the neck of the bag now hang up the bag, to start a siphon shower squeeze the sack. If you can't use your electrical immersion water boiler you can boil some water in a cook pot and add it to your bucket of cold water to warm it up. It is a good idea to hang up a privacy sheet using your hostel sack and clothing line or at least wear a light swimsuit while you wash down since straight neighbors might call the police for public nudity, that and the pervs who might get the wrong idea. Baby Wipes Baby wipes give you a refreshing clean feeling when you are away from normal bathrooms, especially if you are on the road but are expensive, heavy, and wasteful. It is also easy to make your own wipes. Flannel, terry cloth and plain cotton t-shirts can be cut into squares and make great cheap washcloths. Put a little diluted bathroom soap in a plastic baggie and you can get clean wherever you are. If they dry out for some reason, just add a little more water. Note: stay away from anti-bacterial soap for this as it can irritate your skin terribly if not completely rinsed off. Think rash. Toilet A chamber pot or pee bottle is a good idea if you want your trips into and out of your toiletless urban squat minimal to avoid detection. Women need to find bottles with a large opening or a urine stream funnel which can be bought or made from a diagonally-cut 1 liter bottle. If there is no toilet, or it doesn't work, use a 5 gallon bucket (check the dumpsters outside the local fast food joints) and improvise a toilet seat (Anything flat that can hold your weight and with a hole big enough will do). Get some chlorine bleach, dry earth, sawdust, or cat litter to pour into the bucket after each use to kill the smell. If you can get the lid to the bucket, keep it and use it. Also, line the bucket with disposable garbage bags. Double bag it because you do NOT want it to leak when you're taking it out! If the toilet in your squat is not clogged but doesn't flush when you push the lever or you have no water pressure to refill the flush tank, a bucket of water dumped into the toilet will cause a flush cycle. Toilet paper can be expensive or hard on the sewer or pipe system in some parts of the world. While it may seem disgusting to some readers here is the post toilet cleaning method we saw while in Jordan. The left hand is wet with the bathroom sink or a bottle of water if outside, now the wet hand is used to wipe your butt repeat until clean, then wash your hands really well. Electricity Electricity is a big part of the magic of the modern world. With electrical power we can heat our squats and tents, charge batteries, and run full size computers. Without electricity we are back in the 19th century either freezing our asses off or burning expensive and often unsafe fuels. Working with electricity is a very useful skill to our movement but if you are not taking proper precautions can also easily be deadly. If possible find a free vocational electricians course or even take a electrical apprentice position for a few months. Power Jacks Power jacks are found in almost every room around the First World. If the jacks are turned off there are in-line light fixture adapters that screw in and still allow the light bulb. If there is only fluorescent fixtures a a few wire nuts and a chopped off extension cord or heavy speaker wire with a power receptacle on the end will let you tap into the power, be sure that the power or breaker is off when you are doing your work, tape over the switches so nobody surprises you with a ZOT of electricity when they enter the room. Sometimes there will be a blank panel of the right size where you might expect a switch or wall jack, open it up and test the wires to see if they are live. Many institutions use a weird screw head pattern to open up electrical panels, a few minutes of work with an old screwdriver and a file should make the right tool. Alternative Voltages Think about 110/220v flexible gadgets when buying travel items - you never know where you will be globe hopping. If you can score a fully charged vehicle or better a deep cycle battery, consider investing in a DC to AC power converter/charger with battery clips. Some highway signs have a big 12 volt solar panel that will charge car batteries. Small 12v to 110 or 220 converters are now cheaply found especially in truck stops and gas stations. see Cars Outdoor Power Taps !!DANGER!! High skill required!! DANGER!! A person with appropriate skill can remove a bulb or splice into wiring from public light displays or streetlights, appropriate safety and training must be used as there is no way to shut off power for this work, serious life hazard is involved. Remember power in light poles is live even during daytime or off hours, and can carry as much as 40 Amps of power and be over 400 volts (1/8th Amp is enough to kill you).!!DANGER!! Testing A very small glow bulb AC power tester can be purchased in most hardware stores, these are safe, easy to use, and don't burn out. Use this tester to determine if there is power in the wiring of a building and if the grounds are connected on a plug. You can also use this to test where the electrical company has cut off power (sometimes it is right at the meter). On 220 volt systems both "hot" wires will give you a glow when connected to ground, on 110 only one "hot" wire will give a glow when connected to ground. The ground is the bottom round pin in Amerikan 110 volt plugs, the ground diverts power away from you if an appliance short out inside, this is important in metal cased appliances and tools especially when using them on wet concrete. Long Runs If you need to transmit electricity for a very long run 110 volts is often too low and resistance losses in the line will quickly reduce available electricity on long extension cord runs. The easiest way to get better distance out of narrow wire is to use a transformer and boost the voltage. High voltages require narrower wire and incur less losses for the same wattage but High Voltages are More Dangerous! Use extreme caution using surplus military communication, network wire, or other other wires when stringing out to your destination, people will not expect a non-official power line to be running high voltage. Split the wires and run them parallel at least a foot or so apart, use electrical fence insulators where you hang wires in trees and buildings, inspect regularly for damage. A three or four amp rated four to one ratio transformer will convert 110 volt to 440 volt which is much better at transiting long stretches of line. You will need another four to one to step back down to 110v, be careful to install the second transformer to step down or you will be boosting to about 2000 volts! Consider installing a sensitive circuit breaker at your electrical source transformer box, on of a lower value at your destination power box should help you avoid a long hike to flip the breaker. You might get one USA to EU power converter and one EU to USA converter to boost up to 220 and back to 110 at the destination, this will require some additional adapter tips which often come with the travel converters. Free Electricity Contact your electrical company and relief agencies to see if there is a fund or discount for the indigent, some programs are for the elderly or homes with children. These programs are often part of the contract that the power company has with the community public utilities commission. Power to the People!! Lighting A small, cheap desk lamp shining upwards can illuminate a whole room. A compact florescent lamp that screws into a regular light bulb socket will give lots of light (and very little heat) and be a very minor electrical drain; this is good if you are tapping the light socket power for other uses. Small oil lamps and the oil used to burn in them can be had at the big box stores and hardware stores. Just remember that those things get VERY HOT after a while. If you use candles, never leave them burning unattended. You can increase the light by putting a mirror or aluminum foil behind the candle and reflect the flame. You can make an improvised oil lamp using a glass jar and any vegetable oil (NEVER use motor oil!). Place a cotton wick like a shoestring. Heat up the bottom of the candle until it's soft, press it into the bottom of the inside of the jar, and when it cools, pour vegetable oil up to where the wick is exposed, then light the wick. The oil will burn with the candle. Some oils will be sooty and will smoke, so keep a window open. Keep it away from foot traffic, because if it spills, the spilled oil will spread flame VERY quickly! These type of open flames cause most of the deaths and property damage attributed to squatting. Many grocery stores sell a seven day candle often with religious images on it, look in the Mexican foods section. These are great for night lights and the tall walls and splashing wax usually puts the fire out if there is a tip over. If you are in an underground squat, something like an old abandoned subway or utility tunnel a Coleman type lantern using pressurized liquid fuel which gives the best large area coverage might be a good idea, the propane type lantern might also be considered if you can get a big propane tank like is used for a barbecue grill, look at camping shops or online for a long adapter hose. Above all be careful with fire safety. If you plan to spend hours or days exploring underground tunnels a carbide type lamp which is fueled with water and calcium carbide. The cheapest way to find a carbide lamp is in an antique shop but be sure that it is in good shape and the drip valves still work. Stealth Light If you are concerned with being noticed in your squat as you fumble about at night you should not use a full power flashlight or even a standard white LED light. Some flashlights like the one used by the army come with color filters, red to preserve night vision and sometimes blue which is harder to notice on a dark night. In any case if you really want stealth it might be smart to go a step further and poke a pinhole in some foil and blue filter the light too. Avoid swinging the light it is better that it not move as this attracts less attention. Blinking the light on and off as needed is what distress beacons do to get attention, bad idea for stealthy squatters. Do a light survey with a partner outside and assess the visibility, consider paper or cardboard over the lower windows to stealth your squat if they are too visible. Cooling If you can get a fan, all the better. We like the small cheap clamp-on models. You can make an improvised "swamp cooler" by putting a bowl of ice in front of the fan, and let the air blow across the ice. If you can find a rack to hang a towel or damp clothes in front of the fan (but not over it), wet the towel with water. As the water evaporates, it will cool the air. If you can get a hold of a small sprayer or ultrasonic fogger that generates a constant mist, you can spray the air in front of the fan. Just remember to keep the water away from the fan itself. Water and electricity don't mix. During the real dog days of summer a cool bucket of water for your feet can really make a difference, add a well ventilated chaise lounge and you are ready for a nice siesta. The heat of the day is the ideal time to bathe and wash your clothes and wear them wet, you will feel clean and your damp clothes should keep you cool for a while. This works best in dry areas, but even in a humid place sitting in front of a fan with damp clothes will cool you down. If you have made a squat inside a building with HVAC there might be a thermostat for you to manipulate. Most won't allow you to set desired temperature but a hot pack in summer or ice pack or snowball in winter should get you closer to that desired temperature. Computer A PDA or small laptop gives you access to the net, if you are willing to pay corpgov for their cellular service you can get on almost anywhere but it is traceable to location and expensive. Better to hunt out a a free wi-fi hotspot, cantenna an open home network, or go old school and scam some dialup. Either find a program or write a script to download all of the websites you frequent at an open WiFi zone, that way you can quickly grab all of your daily news and reading in a minute or two and sit and enjoy it in your squat. A laptop, embedded device or PDA with a cantenna, yaggi, or patch antenna can often use wifi from a great distance if there is a line of sight A Knoppix or Damn Small Linux disk lets you take over a Windows-owned machine and run your free unlimited system on it bypassing most blockages. A USB keychain drive lets you carry your files and photos as you document the fight and get your information out to the people. See also Internet Communications and Free Telephones A Word on Batteries, Solar, and "Wind-Up" Gadgets You might see ads for various electrical devices (radios, flashlights, etc.) that generate their own power by wind-up motors. Many of the expensive ones often use a small rubber belt in the pulley drive that gets stretched out and slips after a few years. They are a bother to replace, if they can be replaced at all. Others require LOTS of winding, since the hand crank is connected directly to the dynamo. It's best to wind these things up to charge the on-board batteries when you have nothing else to do, since you want the power when you need it. Gadgets with a small solar panel are best. If you can score rechargeable batteries and a charger, great. Just remember that plug-in chargers need constant voltage (the town library usually has a few unattended outlets), and solar powered chargers need about two days of steady sunshine to charge the batteries. Also, rechargeable batteries lose their power in storage, so check the charge and try to keep them refreshed. If you can find a larger solar panel like is used by the road department on signs or the ones from car storage lots for keeping car batteries charged, these will work more quickly than little solar clamshell chargers. see also Cycling for bike generator charging Pest Control • • • • • • • • • Keep your squat very clean, you might even consider eating and storing food in a different location than you sleep. Leaving your food in your pack is an invitation to have a mouse or rat chew a hole. Shake out and wash if possible all clothing and sleeping bags as bedbugs like to collect here. Vinegar can sometimes get rid of ants and roaches, if this fails try boric acid from the pharmacist/chemist or the hardware store. Bay leaves, mint, and other aromatic herbs will help keep insects out of your gear. Citronella candles are expensive; try to find pure citronella oil sold for cleaning, this is the extract from citrus peels, it can be burned with a wick to drive off flying insects but also gives away your position from its strong citrus smell. A buzz haircut helps avoid lice but if you have long hair a drop or two of olive oil on you comb every the morning is healthy for you hair and skin but also prevents the lice from finding a dry spot for gluing their eggs to your hair near the root. Eating raw garlic will repel many insects including mosquitoes, it is no substitute for a net in areas infested with malaria or other flying insect carried illnesses. In malaria country remember to tuck the mosquito net under your mattress at night after you have inspected for holes and mosquitoes, fold up and store during the day. Don't forget to take your malaria prevention meds every day in an afflicted area. Medical Care See Free Medical Care in for information on taking care of your health, illnesses, and injuries with concentration on low budget, migrant, and homeless populations. Free Land In today's world, it is nearly impossible for anyone to own property without becoming a bitch to financial institutions or the Government. Furthermore, because Amerikans are worrisome creatures, there are many restrictions on what can and cannot be done to a piece of land. In quite a few areas a home must be of a certain square footage to "keep up property values" (read: more tax money for the slimeballs in StateGov) So, in all actuality, it will take about $10,000 in cash or loans for a usable large parcel of land out in the sticks, ranging from 1-10 acres, in amerika. eBay can be a good place for the frugal Revolutionary to look for cheap land. Be forewarned: Many of the properties listed are out in the desert or have no real farmable land, and the nearest source of water may be miles away. You can still try the free mining claim, it appears that this frontier option is only left open for megacorps today with good legal departments, we are doubtful on the option of camping out on the land, the laws as we read them seem to imply actual documented mining activity, and no on site settlement. Free Housing Free Sleep In most parts of the US sleeping of any kind outside an approved shelter is illegal for the homeless so we do what the drug users do, we grab a fix when nobody is looking, never knowing when the next fix will be available, all the while fearing withdrawal. Could you live like that and act normal? Hospital If you need a place to sleep for a night, try crashing at the Waiting Room of the local hospital. Tell the nurses that you're waiting for your sister/friend/whoever to have a baby, then lay down on the floor and catch some Zzzs. Might not be too comfy, but definitely safer than sleeping under a bridge. Eventually, the hospital staff will get wise to you but hopefully by then you'll have gotten some rest. Dry Reading If you need some sleep find a book or newspaper to hold, which is quite easy at the library or in the trash, and doze off, since it appears you were legit and just reading they will likely not throw you out unless it is a security guard or cop and your skin is the wrong hue of brown. This dozed off reading trick works well at bus and train stations, on buses and light rail but often is just a fitful nap not the peaceful sleep you really needed, expect to be awoken by a librarian or transit inspector after a time. Here are some mid to longer term options for a place to stay, see also Low Impact Crashing How to crash in almost any building or room without needing traditional appliances External links - resource for sharing short term, free living space Not free but different Doesn't list every shelter, but it's a good resource. This one isn't free, but split the costs with some friends and it could be pretty cheap. Look up the homestay directory on go stay with a family, rent a room, share an apartment, stay on a farm.... if you need a place to stay or want to stop being a drifter/homeless, this is the place to go. Find a place to go in your area. these places are especially for runaway and homeless youth and children. If you're in a college town, simply go figure out where the frat party is, make friends there and find a couch to stay (or pass out late at the frat house). Backpacking and Camping Backpacking and camping are both viable ways to live without a permanent address. Backpacking implies much more mobility and deeper wilderness, the equipment is mostly suitable for touring both on foot and by bicycle. Camping is more stable and often involves more comfortable bedding and cooking equipment. A camper hitches a ride, drives, or even uses a trailer, while a backpacker can easily move on her own. Backpacking Contrary to what the magazines and gear shoppes would like you to think you don't need to have the most expensive equipment money can buy to take to the hills. There is sometimes a trade off in comfort, weight, and function with the expensive gear, but never let price keep you from choosing this option, we hope some of our ideas can get you out without breaking your budget. Remember often the price difference in the ultra$$ brands is because of expensive advertising. Don't forget to visit mom and pop army-navy surplus stores for lots of weird junk mixed with some useful and sometimes very high quality camping gear, unless you swiped it from a base a bit of the money from surplus supports some generals slush fund, but the deep discounts are worth it, just watch out for obsolete, worn out, heavy, or low quality gear. Unfortunately unless you move fast most of the best deals are quickly grabbed and sold at online auctions. Packs A quality pack is very important, fit is very personal, you need to try on the loaded pack (take 30-50 lbs of well sacked sand bags or call ahead and see if the store has some) before you buy and walk around for at least an hour. Quality frame packs while not in vogue are often cheaper and let you carry lots of heavy gear, the internal frame packs hug tight to your body giving you more stability. Be sure the straps are comfortable on your shoulders and chest and that the sternum strap can be moved to a comfortable place Women especially need to find a pack with shoulder straps contoured to not rub their armpits or breasts when cinched tight. The old US Army ALICE frame pack is an excellent buy if you can find one in good shape on the surplus market. Care must be exercised since a high priced pack might have bad stitching or components and a really good pack might be sold for very cheap if it is a brand unknown in the US. Things to look for: well ventilated back pad, anti-damp shoulder straps and belt pad, useful outside pockets, drinking system compatibility, gear attachment loops, modularity, quality zippers, and durability especially at the shoulder straps and seams. A pack cover with a draw string protects your pack from rain and also makes it difficult for pickpockets to quickly find the zippers. A pack cover could be reversed to cover straps during air travel. Daypacks When traveling find a good daypack that is comfortable when either attached to the main pack straps or looped forward on your arms as well as when you wear it on your back. Keep your valuables in the front day pack where you have control of it an leave you bulky stuff in the main pack. Small light-duty packs good for a windbreaker and sandwich lunch are available which fit into a key chain or wallet and weigh almost nothing. Tents A tent serves several jobs; insect protection, privacy, sun shade, and weather protection; the tent construction will affect the performance in all of these areas. • For insect protection be sure that there are full closing zippers, some inexpensive tents leave the bottoms of windows and doors open, durable screens and zipper seams are less likely to rip out quickly. Privacy is the easiest to get, even the cheapest tent is usually opaque, a luggage padlock on your zipper will keep the honest drunk and stoner from crashing out in your tent while you are away. Sun protection is best achieved by buying a polyester tent with UV resistant coating or aluminum impregnated into the tent giving the fabric a silver color. Even a good tent should be kept in the shade if possible to reduce degradation. Weather resistance is what makes the difference between a $20 tent and a $800 one. High quality tents are season rated, a one season tent is made for use in summer only resisting • • • rain, two also includes late spring and early fall meaning it has better ventilation, three season is for early spring and late fall meaning it can take light snow, a four season is reinforced to withstand heavy snow and still not collapse. • Construction quality varies widely between tents look for the following. Bathtub bottom construction means that the waterproof ground cover extends up a few inches to resist light flooding. Proper multilayer urethane coating on the tent fly will resist the strongest rain and not rot quickly. Quality Easton aluminum is lighter and stronger for pole construction than fiberglass. Taffeta inner walls that reach to near the bottom of the walls will help prevent condensation, be sure the fly is well separated from the inner wall to give good ventilation. YKK zippers are the industry standard and much better than the ones on inexpensive tents, glow zipper pull add-ons are nice at night. A mesh gear loft is handy to place a light, watch, glasses, phone, or keys. A large tent fly that extends from the tent can be used in rain or snow for stashing water resistant gear and careful cooking. Without all of these fancy features we have successfully tested $20 tents for whole summers in dry locations with occasional rain. If the weather is clear don't use the fly at night on a cheap tent, the small "skylight" screen will release enough moisture that condensation will not be too bad. On every tent buy quality seam seal and reseal all of the seams with three light coats to prevent leakage through the stitches. If your tent becomes wet and you have to move on set it up as soon as possible to dry out and prevent rot. Tarp Tent For ultra light weight camping a UV treated nylon tarp and your walking staff makes a tent, • • • • • 1- shorten your walking staff and stick into the ground 2- Connect one corner to the top of your staff 3- stake the corner opposite the staff to the ground 4- spread the other two side corners with five foot cords 5- stake side cords to the ground. This gives good protection from sun and if placed mindful of terrain or a angled gutter is dug to divert runoff it will also protect you from rain. Suspend a light bug screen for insect protection. Army Poncho The US army type poncho is multi-purpose item and works good as rain rear and makes a quick shelter. Two can be snapped together to form a pup tent or one as a tarp tent. Recent surplus ponchos are not only woodland camouflage but are designed to match the infrared background in a forest which is good if you are a fugitive but bad if you are lost in the woods. If you look in books like the army ranger handbook you will find ideas for using ponchos as rafts emergency stretchers and other useful things. Sleeping Gear Sleeping Bags The price difference in sleeping bags is mostly a factor of name brand style, weight, and packed size versus warmth. The difference is in the construction, fill material, the shell, and in the lining. The shell is usually nylon and is thin or thick depending on if durability or weight are desired, for any shell the weave should be tight to prevent snags. Fill material available is constantly changing, 600 goose down is the gold standard for insulation but is worthless if wet, we don't recommend it for most wilderness use. Synthetics claim many qualities, but good fluff is what you really need; claims of new 3D fibers and such pop up every few years, be skeptical of amazing powers contained in the new expensive fiber. Lining is usually nylon, coolmax, or a nylon-cotton mix, the cotton and coolmax synthetics make the liner more comfortable in hot weather, while nylon is lighter. Construction is very important, some features mentioned only apply to a mummy style or rectangle bag, look for the following: neck and face draw-strings, quality (YKK is good) zippers, full length zippers, compatibility to zip two bags together, hang loops, mesh gear pocket, foot contour, thicker insulation on bottom, and box baffling of insulation. A low temperature and a medium temperature mummy bag give you a modular extreme cold system, nest the smaller bag inside the larger for very cold nights, and in warmer weather if the zippers match you have room for two. Many inexpensive sleeping bags can now be found to include many of the features needed to keep warm even in cooler temperatures, while not performing badly in terms of weight and packing. An army poncho liner blanket is very light and can be stuffed into any place in your bag where you feel cold. If you're really down and out, one or more of the "lint" blankets given away by homeless shelters inside of a taped or melted-shut piece of visqueen plastic sheeting will keep you warm and block the wind, but the blankets and bag need to be separated and dried out every day. Sleeping Pads The best choice for a sleeping pad is a well made self inflating pad, it is both light and durable. However, if you are on a budget, stick with the old indestructible closed-cell foam roll-up mat, it will keep you warm and dry, but packs big. Cardboard or newspaper can be used to insulate yourself from the ground. Be sure to avoid sleeping with little-to-no insulation, especially if in the woods, as temperature changes and dampness can make you uncomfortable and even sick. Bivvy Sack A quality Gore-tex bivvy sack will set you back about US$300 in 2007 unless you can find a military surplus one. These manufactured bags are of high quality, tough, and waterproof. A bivvy sack is almost weightless when compared with a tent and greatly increases the cold rating of a sleeping bag. Quality bivvy sacks usually load from the top only because it is very difficult to have a leak proof zipper. They usually also have a zip-shut bug screen for the face and a draw string to close the opening. Gore-tex type waterproof but water vapor passable fabric can be found at some large fabric stores. You might mix a few unmatched remnants to save money, remembering that every seam is a potential leak point (so be sure to seal them well!), the bottom can be ordinary waterproof fabric if you need to save money. Hammock Your hammock is a good way to stay cool and comfortable in hot weather, you also don't need to worry about how rocky the terrain is. If you are properly tied in with a harness (if you don't tie into an anchor and your harness it is an easy way to die in your sleep) you can even hammock up on a rock face, building sit in, or tree sit using tree or rock anchor points or bolts. If you hang a tarp tented above your hammock you will protect yourself from rain and gain a bit of privacy, it is a good to stake down the corners with cord if you want to have better weather protection. Use a bivvy sack if it looks like a real storm is coming. It is now possible to purchase one piece tented-over hammocks which are both bug and rain protection. Like in stealth tenting look for a little bit of brush between you and the public areas sticking to dull colors for gear. Food Preparation Liquid Fuel For international back country travel these tend to be the best as gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene, furnace fuel, or diesel fuel is available nearly everywhere. Liquid fuel stoves also generally put out the most heat, some enough for melting snow in large volumes. We like the MSR Whisperlite International and XGK although they are both expensive they burn anything and are hot, the Whisperlite simmers better, XGK is tough and burns like an afterburner, they are still running years later with only the tools that they came with. Give the newer MSR stoves a shake and a weighted jet pricker will clean your clogged jet orifice. Most of the pressure stoves on the market will work well for you if only burning expensive Coleman fuel or gasoline Used gear from a yard sale or junk shop can be fixed by cleaning the tube and jet tip on better stoves or replacing the disposable generator tube on the more common Coleman small stoves. Be very careful to know what fuels your stove is rated to burn before buying. Most multifuel stoves have one jet for light fuels like gasoline and a second for kerosene and diesel. Liquid kerosene or diesel fuel is usually the cheapest and lightest fuel option except for wood burners. Compressed Gas Compressed gas stoves are lighter, easier to control, and can be cheaper. Compressed gas stoves, with due caution, can even be used inside your tent fly vestibule to cook during rain and snow. Some gas stoves include an electrical igniter. Open Fuel This category covers pellet, alcohol, and wood stoves as well as many other improvised stoves. Alcohol and Sterno stoves are discussed in Low Impact Crashing, Kitchen and work well in warm weather. Pellet stoves like the Esbit fold small and light but are usually only used for emergencies. There are a few fan blown wood scrap burners which fill this commercial niche. An interesting improvised stove is one made from an old oil filter and some welded steel break line, a feed hole is cut near the bottom and ash holes on the bottom a steel tube several inches long is attached a few inches up and it looks like a pipe with a giant bowl. Plastic or rubber tube is attached and a small bellows is connected made to blow the flame, good heat and easy lighting make this a real winner even in damp areas especially since it uses wood and bark bits as fuel. Pots Stainless steel seems to be the way to go for durability although aluminum does win in a weight comparison. Non-stick is easy to clean until the non-stick scrapes or burns. Sand will help scrape out most gunk in a steel pan. A kettle is good for easy boiling and pouring. A few plastic containers are good for leftovers and mixing bowls. If you are part of a good sized group a wok might be worth the weight. see Cheap Chow Insulation A Thermos type insulated container saves fuel by holding a near boiling cooking level heat in for many minutes after you shut off your stove, for example bring your pasta or beans and rice to a nice boil in a minute or two and then shutdown and pour into your thermos it will finish cooking in there. On a long campout or trip a thermos might easily be worth its weight in fuel. Mess Kit A lexan bowl, some quality bamboo chopsticks, and a good set of stainless steel nesting utensils will work to serve most food you will be able to make in the wilderness. Food Camping-store-bought freeze-dried food is too expensive to be of any use for sustenance. With a little thought and ingenuity, you can buy and make great light-weight camp food from a regular grocery store's stock. Use the calorie information available in diet books or container labels to plan a meal; you need to be sure to have enough protein, fiber, and vitamins every day. Have a written meal plan that will meet your daily needs; marking and packing all of the ingredients for a meal in a heavy duty Ziploc or vacuum pack/seal bag makes it easier to prep a quick meal. Your goal when on the move or working is to consume 3000-4000 Calories per day in summer and up to 6000 in high mountain/winter. Our experience with most backpackpacker and cycle camping newbies is that they underestimate their hunger when planning sometimes as badly as a factor of three or four, it is OK to pack a little too much food especially stuff for fatty recipes that contain oil, butter, or margarine which are full of calories and make you feel full. Try these ideas instead of the expensive camp store foods: • • • • • • • Boxed noodles and sauce or macaroni and cheese Parmesan cheese, block or powder (for cheese sauces and topping) Instant rice Dry Pasta Tomato sauce for soups or sauces Oven dried veggies (for soup and stews) Oatmeal flakes (running it for a few seconds dry in a bladed food processor makes it "instant") Dried fruits and raisins Wheat germ Heavy Filling Cereals (i.e. Grapenuts) Powdered milk (reconstitute in a squirt bottle) Powdered egg mix (be sure to carry hot sauce) Dry cereal Cookies, Brownies and Energy Bars Oven dried and cured meat strips (hard jerky) for snack or soup Biscuit mix for simple breads, pancakes, and biscuits Oil for frying and margarine substitute (A gulp of oil before bed will raise your body temperature as you digest, if you can stand it. Flaxseed oil is rich in Omega-3's.) Spices, condiments, and sauces • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Powdered soup base or bouillon cubes Chicken, Tuna or other fish sold packed in Mylar pouches Instant potato flakes Dried mushrooms (like Portabello or Shitake, buy fresh and allow to dry in a paper bag for a few weeks for soups) Hot cocoa powder Liberated MRE Meal Pouches & Components Hardtack Instant Coffee & Tea Beans and TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) Meat Substitutes • • • • • It is amazing what kinds of fun dishes you can whip up in the woods, when you are stopped for a few days, when you have the time and energy. Just but be sure that you have something bonehead easy and fast to prepare or better yet ready to eat, for when you set up camp after a hard day of hiking. Vegans need to pay special attention to their diet planning especially to their fat and protein intake when on the move, most of their meals are naturally much less rich than the average Amerikans. Keep all food and dirty pans and utensils away from the tent and out of your pack; a hang bag cache thrown over a tree limb will keep most animals out of the food. Bear-safes are required in some places but are heavy. Even if bears are not a problem, smaller animals can wreck your gear trying to get the food. Wash dishes away from camp. Hardtack Hardtack is little more than a large cracker that, if kept dry, could stay edible for months, perhaps years. It's broken and mixed with some liquid (hot water, broth, etc.) to make a porridge, or to thicken soups or stews. If you make enough in advance, it can be eaten on the march or at camp. A recipe from the WikiMedia Cookbook follows: • • • • 2 cups of flour 1/2 to 1/4 cup water 6 pinches of salt 1 tablespoon of shortening (optional, feels more filling and adds calories) 1. Mix all the ingredients into a batter and press onto a cookie sheet to a thickness of 1/2 inch. 2. Bake in a preheated oven at 400°F (205°C) for one hour. 3. Remove from oven, cut dough into 3-inch squares, and punch four rows of holes, four holes per row into the dough (a fork works nicely). 4. Flip the crackers and return to the oven for another half hour. Hardtack has been known as "sheet metal" or "molar breakers" because it is very hard and dense, so don't try to eat it like a regular saltine. Forest Forage If you somehow are stuck in the woods for a long time drink pine needle tea for the vitamin C to avoid scurvy. Some soft (unripe) pine cones have food value cooked or raw. The inner bark of many trees if boiled can be eaten for minimal food value but killing the tree. Young plant shoots, soft inner stalks, and soft or bulbous roots can often be safely cooked or eaten raw, learn what is poisonous and edible along your travel route and local area. Steel wire snares or baited fish hooks are a cruel and illegal way to survive by trapping animals and birds but it might save your life if you are starving, check your traps regularly. Cut and cook or smoke any meat as soon as possible to avoid waste. A good rule is to never eat any plant foods that are bitter or burning unless it is a known food like peppers, although even rotted meat can be safely eaten in most cases if very well cooked or boiled for several hours. Always cook or smoke and then hang meat since bears, mice and raccoons are still interested in your food. Don't expect to be able to survive on gathering, fishing, hunting, or trapping, indigenous peoples in what is now known as North America were very few in number and the wildlife was not as stressed, many first nations people also practiced agriculture. Most foods can either be stewed in a pot which is boiled on coals of at least an hour preserving most nutrients, if this is impossible then cook chopped meats and fish on a skewer over the coals of a fire. Fishing Fishing as a food source is a useful skill in some parts of the world. If you know what you are doing you might be able to supplement your protein intake with some lightweight gear. Forget about fancy gear like fly fishing that is for the rich who rear up a fish's mouth and throw him back, we want the food. A telescoping pole and spinning reel will do the trick without breaking your bank or back but a stick and floss will work in a pinch. Some six pound test monofilament line will bag most small river fish. Ask locals their favorites but in general worms, corn, insects, and dough balls all work good, it won't hurt to carry some flashy, rattly, and spinny lures with your gear. Get a big assortment pack of fish hooks, they weigh and cost very little and are useful for a hobo on the move even if you just use a stick pole and dental floss. A bobber hangs your bait off of the bottom in still water, moving water requires casting out and recovering as it floats downstream, you can use a dry stick as bobbber if needed. If you catch a fish it should have firm and elastic flesh, clear and full eyes, bright red gills, a clean pleasant order, and an absence of reddish discoloration on the ventral side of the backbone, that is, the side of the backbone that’s on the inside of the fish. Cloudy, sunken eyes, and gray colored gills are the first recognizable signs of old, decaying fish. When the head, gills, and backbone are gone, rely on your sense of smell and touch. Worn out or dying fish have much less nutritional value but cooking them will remove danger of illness. In over fished areas forget about wasting your time. Sport fishers, hunters and gatherers are often out in huge numbers during hard times and will often cause many years of damage from taking too much from the ecosystem. To clean a fish smash the brain area to kill it, then cut from the anus to the throat, remove guts(these are good fish bait), use a dull knife to scrape off the scales, some fish are best filleted from the ribs but small ones are easier to leave in and remove when you eat it. Pan fry most fish with a little oil and spices. A small net at the end of a large triangle of rocks laid in the river to guide the fish in will make a good trap as will a series of baited hooks in the water strung to trees above, check your fish traps regularly, spear fish in the shallows with a frog spear tip on a stick. Bombing fish in a pond with chlorine bleach is clueless destruction, it will bring them to the surface but will kill the whole ecosystem. Instead use rotenone or crush green husks from butternuts or black walnuts. Throw the husks into the water, it will do the trick just stunning the fish without killing the other animals, collect and eat or salt and smoke all fish you stun. Watch out for fish and game cops they can take all of your gear, car, or boat as a punishment leaving you destitute if you are accused of poaching. Water Purification Water purification pills, boiling, and unscented bleach will kill bacteria. but take around half an hour to work. Most backpackers who don't have access to plumbing want the convenience of a filter. We teach the construction of a drip filter in Low Impact Crashing or even this clay and cloth filter, but hand pumped models work faster and can remove pathogens from large volumes in a shorter time. DIY drip filters like in Low Impact Crashing are another means of purification like boiling is a very good idea if possible since while they stop large giardia cysts they might let bacteria through although a less common problem in the wilderness. Good filters have a scrub clean ceramic filter and are designed for easy field maintenance. Be careful that you pump out all water in and keep inside your coat in freezing temperatures as ice can crack the filter element. MSR, PUR, and Sweetwater make good filters. If you are near an open, natural water source or even damp soil or green vegative matter during a sunny day with moderate heat, you can use what is called a solar still to generate fresh water. Solar stills are either inflatable buoys that consist of a flattened black base connected to a parasol with a collection tube attached to the bottom of this or are made by placing clear plastic with a small stone weight in the middle over a pit with a collector can in the middle. It works by collecting bad water, green vegetation, damp soil, or anything containing water onto the bottom part and then using the sun to evaporate it. This leaves behind dissolved substances (like salt). The vapor is then collected inside the top of the cone and condenses. There is usually a thin fishing-line type cord that spirals down the inside of the top and empties into the tube. You can lead this end into a bottle or pouch to fill with clean water. It usually takes a while to get a lot, but additional stills will make this better. These are good for use if you are camped for a somewhat extended period of time in a desert area, or if you are out at sea. It is still a good idea to bring this distilled water to a boil to sterilize any bacteria. The manufactured stills are being phased out on liferafts in favor of hand pumped reverse osmosis desalinators. Drinking Systems A backpack tube type drinking system makes sipping easier and increases water intake preventing dehydration in all weather conditions, adding a shutoff valve will prevent leakage if the bite valve is accidentally compressed, blowing air into the tube will keep that next gulp of water cool in the pouch especially if you have ice. You need to clean the tube and bladder well and store with a paper towel puffing out the bladder to prevent mold and slime. Many drinking systems have a large opening which is threaded and compatible with water filter pumps. Giardia Flagyl aka Metronozole is used to treat intestinal parasites like giardia which causes beaver fever the most common waterborne illness in the US. Filtering or boiling will make the water safe from these parasites but remember to also use clean water to wash your face and dishes. Giardia cyst are large and caught by most forms of filtration. Hydration Be sure you are getting enough water to drink, plan minimum two liters a day if camped in cool weather, more if moving or the day is hot. Your urine should be a clear when in the field, dark or cloudy urine is a sign of dehydration, most Americans are chronically dehydrated. Even if the weather is cool insufficient hydration and urine output could lead to bladder and even kidney infection especially in women. A dilute drink mix can make guzzling water easier and helps soft drink addicted Americans replenish electrolytes, this should taste like watered down sport drink. You can carry a concentrate to add to water while you are on the trail. • • • • 4-5 tablespoons sugar 1/8 and 1/16 teaspoon of salt 1/16 teaspoon salt substitute that contains potassium chloride 1/2 packet of unsweetened drink powder(no artificial sweeteners) or 1/2 cup lemon or lime juice 1 liter of water • You can substitute powdered citric acid for the drink flavor powder to add zing. Clothing Footwear Footwear for backpacking depends on your ankles. If you have steel ankles and arches you might be able to get by with trail runner shoes or light hiker boots. For the rest of us non-bionic humans the weight on our feet is paid off by the superior support of a mountaineering boot. The price of these giant boots is offset by the vibrant resale market where a slightly stinky used pair of $400 boots can be had for around $50. If you will be establishing a longer term wilderness base camp, trail runner type shoes might be worth the pack weight for short trips from camp. River sandals are also an option for short trips especially if you will be walking through water. For the most part waterproof footwear is a problem either because about 30% of people perspire too much and the inside gets damp or because they step in water over their ankle and it takes forever to dry the shoe out since there is a waterproof barrier. If tramping through swamps and rivers the old Vietnam jungle boot is a good workhorse although it gives less support than a big mountaineering boot. Big woolly socks help prevent blisters, even in hot summer go for the big fluffy socks, we know some who wear an inner silk or synthetic stocking but watch for folds that can cause blisters. It is vital important that you get a good fit and do not jam your toes into the end, jammed toes lead to ingrown nails and blisters which can become infected leading to a potential of major damage or immobility. When at the store do heel and toe kicks at the ground, walk around for a few minutes and if possible walk or in-place-step up and down on an incline to see if your foot stays tight without jamming your toes or making any rub spots. Clothes Synthetic zip off trousers/shorts are easily available at the writing of this book, these are good for durability, ease of washing and drying quickly but some do hold body odors. Camping and ski stores often carry synthetic button shirts and t-shirts although for the money discount 100% silk Hawaii print or colored dress shirts work just as well, look for a durable tight weave. Jacket In most locations, if you already own one, a light mountaineering type parka shell combined with one or two liner layers is a lightweight way to protect from rain and cold. The army surplus camo gore-tex jacket fits the bill, we have heard of some people successfully coloring them black without ruining the gore-tex. If you are in a very rainy location think about roll up Gore-tex rainpants. Mountaineering gaitors are waterproof and keep your legs dry if you need to move along in wet brush or grass after a storm or heavy dew. Under your shell layer lies the main insulation layer (fleece jacket and trousers although a fleece vest is fine in summer), sometimes your tighter vest and looser jacket are combined to add insulation in serious cold. Long underwear finishes up your three layer system. Remove layers to keep you from sweating. Hat Wide brimmed boonie type hats are great for hot, sunny, or wet weather but a good insulated military helmet under hat or wool cap will keep you warm in the cold. Underwear Spandex sport bras and underwear works well for preventing chafing and providing support, bike shorts also work well and prevent most thigh chafing when walking. Another option for women is to wear a one piece competition bathing suit on the trail for support and at your destination you are ready for the water. Long underwear of the real polypro and not a cotton mix is a super lightweight bit of gear that really helps keep you warm, don't forget both tops and bottoms. Electronics You are limited in the amount of batteries you can carry into the wilderness and by what to do with them after they are used up, see our thoughts in Low Impact Crashing on batteries, solar and wind up gadgets with extra emphasis on solar since it provides electricity without requiring you to expend extra effort. Communications For Communication a tiny HF QRP radio transceiver will keep you in touch on a regular enough basis to keep you on top of everything, some kits can even listen to shortwave broadcast, look for a kit or radio set with low battery consumption. Have planned meet up times with a ham radio operator or member of the underground with a serious radio and antenna to check in several times a week who will also read you email and type up responses for you. Be sure not to compromise on a quality wire antenna and set up on a hilltop if possible when you transmit. If the pigs are looking for you and can get line of sight to your hilltop they might be able to DF(direction find) a HF radio set, keep your transmissions short and hope they are not looking or transmit from a valley and pray that the other station can hear you. Learn Morse code that works when almost nothing else will. Walkie talkies are fun and sometimes very useful in the woods or urban jungle but they are super easy for the cops to zero in on, if they have the right gear, even if there is very little chatter. We find either a 2 meter ham or quality FRS walkie-talkie work best. A signal mirror works for many miles hilltop to hilltop, the difficulty is sending and receiving Morse code effectively to another party. Flashlights and lasers work at night for the same purpose. Light A headlamp is a must when camping, a dual beam headlamp will give you a powerful halogen beam for long range and an LED bulb for reading and camp chores while keeping your hands free. Pressurized fuel and candle lanterns, fluorescent lamps, and light sticks all have their place but a LED light usually wins because of battery life and weight. If you have a propane or liquid fuel pressure lantern for light, seriously consider replacing the glass globe (that glass thing that surrounds the mantle) with one made of steel mesh. Glass breaks too easily when you're roughing it. Steel mesh globes are available on-line and at better sporting goods stores or can be made from steel window screen. Walking Sticks A pair of lightweight telescoping ski type poles have become popular with the backpacking crowd. Essentially they make you into a four legged animal giving you more strength while climbing and better stability while descending or crossing water. In the tents section above there is a description on how to use a tarp and telescoping hiking pole to make a ultra-lightweight tent. Navigation Most people really believe in the GPS, we like it too but we really don't trust Uncle Sam and his boys at the Air Force to leave it working right for us citizens if they really start cracking down. We like the army lensatic compass with the perma-lit tritium elements so the important parts will glow for about 25 years. You sight this compass like a gun while viewing the degrees dial so you can easily choose a landmark to walk towards. This is around $120 new or $10 if you can find a soldier a week before payday. For a big quality drop there is a functional copy of the army compass sold at camping stores for $15 but you must be very careful to check that the needle points true and doesn't stick. Silva and Brunton also make excellent compasses for navigation but are not as tough as the army ones. Toilet Carry a plastic spade for burying poop, make sure it is buried at least six inches down. Don't defecate near the water; it is not just rude, it spreads disease. Hand roll TP or learn to use a squirt bottle and leaves. Tools and Repairs • Tent wands can be repaired by wrapping pop can around the break a few times and securing with duct tape. Tents can be repaired by gluing a piece of the nylon packing bag over the hole and seam sealing it, also carry a bit of tent screen patch. Inflatable pool toy repair glue will save an inflatable mattress. Have o-rings, pump cups, and silicone lubricant for all stoves and filters. Pack a well-stocked sewing kit with some patch material, carpet thread, Velcro, large needles and safety pins. Assorted small nuts, bolts, washers, pins, and screws have many uses. Carry lots of lantern mantles (and make certain they're the right model for your lantern). Quality pliers multi-tools are always good to have in or out of the woods • • • • • • • • Military duct tape is amazing but the goop it leaves is tough to get off for real repairs. Wrap a meter or two around a golf pencil. Some wire can save a broken zipper and act as a zipper pull. A zipper that is stuck open can be lubricated by rubbing a candle or a bar of soap on the teeth. Cable ties are just always useful. A stick of hot glue can be melted with a lighter. A smaller scissors multi-tool is useful on your keychain. Camping stores carry a pocket-chainsaw which is a roll up linked saw that you can either use with the included handles or make a bow-saw with a stick, it rolls into a four inch pocket size flat can. • • • • • Other Skills Check out Low Impact Crashing and Pack your bag for more camping related skills and gear. Cycling Camping while Cycling is a popular way to overnight when touring, Just stick your backpack in a trailer (have plans for wet weather) or distribute your gear in pannier bags, since weight savings are still important to cyclists backpacking gear is traditionally used. Skiing see Skiing and Boarding for backcountry winter movement. Where to Camp Established state and national parks are the easiest choice and there is sometimes a discount for walkers and bikers who need no parking spot. We prefer to find a nice spot off of the road and just set up camp far enough away from town that the cops won't bother us. If getting away from town is not practical at least camp near or inside a park treeline a hill between you and town helps. Be careful if you find a beautiful green field in the middle of summer you may be surprised by pop-up water sprinklers at two in the morning. As long as the place you camp is not marked "No Trespassing" you can not be busted until you are asked to leave and refuse, don't assume that small town cops understand the law, keep most of your stuff packed and ready to go. Always get dull colored gear if possible, a big part of the stealth camping we do is not being noticed, this is especially important as you near urban areas. Going into the brush and trees even a little bit breaks up the outline of your tent, dull colored (non-damaging)dye art on your rain fly will help break up the outline but will also make you easy to identify as you travel. You will develop an eye for using terrain and foliage to conceal your camp. Look behind buildings with parking large lots, train tracks, and near large factories for a field to camp in, industrial areas may not have services but they also often have a much lower competition for viable camping spots. Replacing Consumables Out in the wilderness there are a few ways to make cash if you get creative, the upside is the overhead costs are low, just try to keep your nice gear from wearing out, that can be the biggest expense. • Silver or pewter jewelery sculpting can be a fun creative job. • Gold panning is a way to make a living good enough to support a camped out lifestyle, a pan is used to swirl out the lighter dirt and pebbles but keep the heavy gold dust which is best found deposited at turns in rivers and where the current suddenly slows. Practice in panning and knowing where to look greatly improves yields. Sometimes mushrooms or truffles become very valuable on the world market and harvesting and selling could buy you months of supplies. Although very unconventional, if you have a solar panel a mobile phone with Internet and an HPC you might be able to use the Internet to take part time with editing, translating, and writing jobs even from the forest a few miles from a small town. Growing pot might not be a good idea, even though the payoff is good, as if you are caught you will loose even your backpacking gear. Try whittling! Just be sure to have the means to sharpen your knife if you spend a lot of time on this. Make small crafts to sell at street fairs or music fests! A couple good examples include a fat, shapely cat statue from balsa wood (just paint in the eyes) with some small holes with cut fishing line glued in for whiskers; miniature Buddhas or other religious items. Crochet old plastic shopping bags, with the "Green is In" fad people are happy to buy often for a decent price items crocheted from plastic bags. Set up a sign and offer bicycle tune up and repair near a popular bike trail (have extra spokes, chain and tubes) • • • • • • Camping If you are looking for a more permanent home in one location, or prefer something closer to the comforts of home camping could be your solution. Camping is also easier if you have children and they are unable to carry their own gear. See also Alternative Shelter Tents Larger tents can be rented or purchased from a place specializing in their sales. Army surplus tents are very durable and can last several years in the elements, be careful for intentionally damaged tents and shoddy repairs. Insist that the dealer erect and allow inspection of any tent, don't forget the poles, stakes, and ropes. Lighter family tents can be expensive and usually are intended for only a few setups, left erected they can last for months if in a shaded area. You should buy a tent with plenty of room to stand up, roll out several large sleeping bags with foam mattresses, and stow your gear. Trailers A trailer or motorized camper can be very expensive if purchased new, like most yuppie retirement toys the value drops like a rock once it looks used inside. Be sure the appliances work since repairs can be expensive. Inspect the wheels and tires of a trailer, make sure lights and brakes work correctly and that the tow vehicle is able to connect. Pop up campers must be inspected carefully for mechanical function and rot especially in canvas panels, ask to leak test the camper with a garden hose. Never overload a vehicle with a large trailer, this can be very dangerous! Cooking If you are using a trailer most have LP gas stove installed cooking is like at home. For tent campers the old Coleman pressure stove is a good option. For longer trips out you might want to invest in a gas powered stove and use a distribution pole and gas hose to run it from a five gallon or larger LP gas tank, these poles have a connection on top for a propane lantern and extra valves for other propane gadgets. The army tents used to have an option for a diesel/wood fueled stove but supply of these are drying up. A person good with welding or rivets, a metal drum, and some stove pipe could build a stove for heat and cooking surface. Be careful to inspect the stove pipe hole on these tents for burning or damage. Electricity Unless you really need lots of power like for some sort of pirate radio gig a generator is noisy and a real invasion of the solitude of the wilderness. Running your car or RV engine to charge the batteries feeding your inverter is also a huge waste of fuel. Try to minimize power and if possible stick to solar for charging your deep cycle batteries. see also Cars Toilet Many people plan on using chemical toilets since they are not constrained by weight and these seem cleaner, these are usually not warranted if you are able to dig a small toilet hole, the exception is in stressed wilderness environments where overuse is taxing the area. If you have a plumbed trailer or camper only dump your waste into a sewage system and not into a body of water. Water If you are downhill or beside flowing water and plan to stay for awhile a piece of blue tarp can be sewn into a cone shape and clamped to a garden hose fitting, this is tied in the flowing water, a length of hose can be attached with a valve at the end to deliver water to your camp, let the hose flow to remove stagnant water before using. A small electrical pump can be attached to a length of hose, drop into a lake or creek and fill up, remember to add chlorine or install a filter in your water system that will remove Giardia. Remember to filter or treat any water you get from the wild. River water may look pure and fresh, but it might be flowing over a dead animal upstream. Avoid drinking water dripping off of melting ice from rock formations. It may contain pulverized stone. If you poke around country stores or ranger stations at night you will surely find a water spout, use your handy faucet knob and plug in. If you camp near a river or stream, consider the US Army's priority of where activity is to be done concerning the river's flow. Furthest upstream is where you get your drinking water. Further down is where you wash your clothes and cookware. Last down is where you bathe. Furniture Army folding cots or medic stretchers make great beds and keep you from the damp ground, in cool weather use a foam pad on top. Be careful about swiping picnic tables from Smokey Da-Bear, he will send the Forest Freddies after you. Proper plastic folding tables are the best, resisting the elements for several years. Plastic folding tables will work outdoors and take a while to rust the steel legs even in rain, try to bring them in. The older pressed wood folding tables will warp once wet. Folding lawn furniture and stackable resin is superior to indoor folding chairs for long term camping. Campfires Before you start a campfire, make certain that you're not in a drought stricken area. If a ranger sees the smoke from your fire, you're up for a fine or maybe even arrest, at the least the forest cops will will run your ID. Stick to the old fashioned Boy Scout methods. Check to see that nothing flammable is within a six foot radius of the fire. Dig a small pit and circle it with rocks, then build a small compact fire that generates more heat than smoke. When cooking food over a fire, don't use fresh evergreen wood if possible. The wood releases resins and tars that can harm the flavor of the food. If there's a lot of warm grease in your pots and pans, throw a handful of white ashes into it and stir. This will turn the grease into a weak soap that will help in cleaning. To put out the fire completely, pour water over the embers, stir the ashes, douse it again, and then carefully feel the muck. Always try to pack a full sized axe (a purloined forest service Pulaski tool is even better) a shovel, and a bucket when driving into or base camping in the wilderness and know how to use them and mineral dirt to extinguish a fire. Always scrape away the organic duff and only burn on mineral earth. If there is no moisture in the ground even down to a half meter, and if when you split logs they are dry as a bone be very careful, fuel moisture is very low and a fire will be hard to fight. Large fires almost always throw off firebrands which can light the forest on fire, even if there is no forest fire since everything is green firebrands will burn holes in your cotton and nylon tents and gear, save wood and keep the fire small. Other Options Fire Lookout Many US and Canadian Forest Service lookout towers are no longer occupied at all times in the summer. A maintained shelter often with a wood stove awaits. These are always unoccupied after fire season unless the area has a camper rental program. You may need to pick the lock. Log Cabin If you have the knowledge and time, like if you are on the run from the man and can't get out of the country, a small log cabin can be made with an axe and your hands and trees. It is a good idea to spike your logs to prevent collapse if possible. Build a small short shelter just large enough for your bed and pack. Use the largest stones you can find as corner stones. Dig out a entry tunnel instead of a difficult door unless you have lots of tools and construction supplies, continue digging a depression to make more headroom. Jam moss and leaves between the logs to make the cabin more wind proof, this will need to be repeated when the logs dry. Make a single slope shed type roof and cover with bark or wood shingles or a thick cover of pine boughs, if you had plastic or a survival blanket consider using it as a roof liner. If a USFS trail or fire crew notices any unauthorized construction expect to see it demolished so stay away from lakes, ponds, and hiking trails. Urban Living Rooftop Many buildings have a flat roof and parapet to keep people from falling off. You will either have to attach a ladder to the roof from the fire escape or pick or break the inside lock to the roof access. Even then you need to assure regular access to the roof from outside while keeping everyone else from your squat. We have seen people bicycle lock a ladder nearby to get up on the fire escape, and rope it up once on the roof, but this is a real workout to raise and lower it every day. Once you have access to the roof you can build a shack to live in or just camp out in your tent. Take advantage of electricity and water connections running to air conditioners and lights, but be careful these are live deadly electrical wires and there is no way to turn them off to tap in. In addition to a squat your rooftop might have enough space to start a rooftop garden like we discuss in Farm It Bridge We all have seen campers under bridges. Bridges offer protection from sun and rain and, if located in a nonresidential area, there are often longer times between camp breakups by cops compared to more exposed camping spots. A careful electrician could tap the street or sign lighting to power their electrically powered gear, hotplates, etc. If trash starts to visibly build up the city will often kick everyone out and come in with a prison work crew to throw everything away. Parks Many urban parks have overgrown areas large enough to allow real camping. Try to find a place hidden by thorns and briers that will discourage city workers. A regularly used trail will lead other homeless or even park services to your hideout. Storage Space Rental What freak has not dreamed of renting a storage unit for a home? Unfortunately the on site management is almost always against this, one inspection by the fire marshal and the manager is canned and the owner is in big trouble. It might be possible to bribe a manager but the trouble of modifying the unit, lack of water or bathrooms, and the locking of the buildings are all problems that make it almost not worth the trouble. Bike Locker It has been rumored that, with a few dollars spent at a hardware store, rented city and college bike lockers can be converted for personal use. The outer lock mechanism must be modified to not lock when you are inside but still allow you to keep the door closed while you are sleeping. Probably a much better use is storage, this is one of the few inexpensive places that a homeless person can safely stash some gear, check rules about inspection of contents. See also The Street Suburban Living Suburban areas are likely the most difficult to improvise housing. Short of renting a basement or garage for a very small amount, it will be difficult. The suburban sprawl was designed with a petroleum powered vehicle in mind, so most services are a highway drive away. Radically-dressed and -minded outsiders will likely be harassed by the local police Garden Shed In older neighborhoods with large lots adjoining park or wetland areas there are sometimes disused sheds or old garages. Look for unkempt yards or long grass without foot trample around the out building this may indicate an elderly homeowner or uninterested renter who has no use for the building. Choose and use a path of approach that does not leave a trail visible from the house or easily noticed from other homes. Garden Shed Kit A mini-barn or garden shed can be purchased at most North American hardware stores. All that is really needed is a concrete platform to start. These quick shelters have two benefits in a suburban area they may not be noticed by neighbors if built quickly during the work week, they are also a quick way to get shelter on a piece of land you plan to build a larger alternative home. These were proposed as a third world emergency prefab home after disasters. A good idea is to build on property of a friend who you will share utilities with. If you contact a manufacturer with your plans some will pre-cut the wood to include windows and doors as well as the overall height and size to your liking. Useful upgrades to a quick build shed home include the following features: • • • • • • • • • • • • Normal size house door with proper lock(as opposed to double barn doors) Glass windows Overhang and porch Garden hose plumbing, drain into a gravel/sand pit or greenhouse/garden next to your shedhouse if soil drainage allows Electricity, include a circuit breaker of a lower value than the circuit you are connecting to so your breaker will flip first Dry wall, paint and insulation Shower curtain rail around porch for showering in summer Fold away bed and table Propane gas for heating and cooking can be plumbed in using camping components Fireplace or wood stove for heating and cooking makes sense in some areas A directional WiFi antenna mounted on the roof can let you connect to a house even hundreds of feet away Toilet plumbing can be a challenge to include on a low budget, an outhouse would be easier Car An unlocked car is a place to spend for the night when you are cold or need to lock up for safety. Bed down and don't leave anything outside of your pack, be ready to run. If the car is abandoned it will likely be towed in a few weeks so don't use it for storage. Be alert for the owner in the morning, get out quick on the opposite side and scoot before they can call the cops or kick your ass. Lie to the owner and say that you knocked on a door and the person said it was ok to sleep in their car, point at a random house, this should buy you vital seconds to escape while the owner thinks this over, don't try to lie to the cops though. See also Cars Squat a House At the edge of the suburban rural boundary and near run down parks there are often pockets of older neighborhoods where a house may sit for years unoccupied waiting for inheritors to sue each others asses off until the lawyers take the house and divide the spoils amongst themselves. Look near large construction projects for houses slated for destruction. An old weathered for sale sign might be a house open to squat, but could also mean somewhat regular visitors depending on the market. Even better finding an incomplete subdivision with some nearly finished homes. Deciding to squat a house takes some good detective work. Find a place where it is apparent that the yard work is not being taken care of. Peek in the windows, has anyone been home in a few months? Does it appear that the house has been squatted or burglarized without cleanup? All of these are good cause to stake the place out. Put a padlock on the front door and see if it is removed, camp out in the back yard if you can do so discreetly just to be sure. Try before you pry, an open door or window might remove the charges of breaking and entering if you get busted. Squat the place. While you are squatting light up your devices you use and go outside to see what is visible at night, pull the shades and check again, light and motion will give you away most easily. Keep your travel in and out infrequent, at night only if possible, no music or noise. Cooking fires and grilling might be noticed from the smoke and smell. If you kept clean you will be hard to spot. To the average WASP the homeless are dirty and distant, the suburban and rural townies and cops won't tolerate filthy bums, but will they notice a clean one? Always make your living space as near as possible to the back door on the ground floor, clean that room up first for occupation. Since this is not your house be ready to run if you hear someone trying to enter through the front, legit owners drive up and enter through the front door 99% of the time without doing a walk around, pile up junk in front of the front door to make noise and slow them down. Always have your bags packed for a quick escape, if confronted be apologetic but be sure to get away before anyone gets violent. It might help if you tell a story of your dead grandfathers house in this town that you thought you were squatting in, this is just a distraction to get out the door and prevent violence, be quick, stay cool, smile, grab your pack, don't let anyone get their hands on you, know your escape routes, have at least two. Expect the cops in the area soon so get away from the property and into a store or movie theater, stash your bike and pack safely nearby, the pack really gives you away. See also Squatting Original Urban Living If you're headed for city living, the first thing you'll have to do is locate an apartment or loft, an increasingly difficult task. At certain times of the year, notably June and September, the competition is fierce because of students leaving or entering school. If you can avoid these two months, you'll have a better selection. A knowledge of your plans in advance can aid a great deal in finding an apartment, for the area can be scouted before you move in. Often, if you know of people leaving a desirable apartment, you can make arrangements with the landlord, and a deposit will hold the place. If you let them know you're willing to buy their furniture, people will be more willing to give you information about when they plan to move. Watch out for getting screwed on exorbitant furniture swindles by the previous tenants and excessive demands on the part of the landlords. In most cities, the landlord is not legally allowed to ask for more than one month's rent as security. Often the monthly rent itself is regulated by a city agency. A little checking on the local laws and a visit to the housing agency might prove well worth it. Don't go to a rental agency unless you are willing to pay an extra month's rent as a fee. Wanted ads in newspapers and bulletin boards located in community centers and supermarkets have some leads. Large universities have a service for finding good apartments for administrators, faculty and students, in that order. Call the university, say you have just been appointed to such-and-such position and you need housing in the area. They will want to know all your requirements and rent limitations, but often they have very good deals available, especially if you've appointed yourself to a high enough position. Aside from these, the best way is to scout a desired area and inquire about future apartments. Often landlords or rental agencies have control over a number of buildings in a given area. You can generally find a nameplate inside the hall of the building. Calling them directly will let you know of any apartments available. When you get an apartment, furnishing will be the next step. You can double your sleeping space by building bunk beds. Nail two by fours securely from ceiling to floor, about three feet from the walls, where the beds are desired. Then build a frame out of two by fours at a convenient height. Make sure you use nails or screws strong enough to support the weight of people sleeping or balling. Nail a sheet of 3/4 inch plywood on the frame. Mattresses and almost all furniture needed for your pal can be gotten free (see section on Free Furniture). Silverware can be copped at any self-service restaurant. Rural Living If you are able to obtain permission or not be noticed, almost any type of shelter could be used. Many rural communities are very insular and everyone knows everyone else. Strangers are viewed with suspicion and often due to boredom snooping and gossip are the only entertainment. Recycled Sea Shipping Container Super strong and designed to be waterproof, the standard 24 and 40 foot shipping container can be made into a house by cutting holes for and installing a door and windows. It is cheaper for a company to sell a well-used container than to scrap and recycle it. Straw Bale Straw bale is one of the easiest, simplest, cheapest ways to build a house. All you really do is create walls out of hay bales, sometimes coating the outsides with concrete, mud, leaves, or wood to keep the walls dry. This is not necessary. With properly placed support beams, the house will stay safe through wet times and rain. Straw also acts as an insulator. In you will be living in a cold area with an abundance of hay, I would suggest doubling up walls. Yurt For a few grand a decent sized yurt can be purchased, but we bet you could build one for less. The mountain peoples of China, Mongolia, and even parts of Afghanistan use yurts for semi mobile housing. A canvas roof, criss-cross wood slat wall frames, and a smoke hole or plastic skylight are normal features. A quality yurt will last up to ten years in a damp climate and longer in a dry one. Greenhouse PVC tubing arches and plastic sheet make for an acceptable shelter and an excellent source of food for under $100. These are most effective in low wind areas which have mild winters but can become unbearable to live in in summer. See Farm It Ferro-cement Ferro-cement is an extremely strong, easy-todeal-with material. Not to mention cheap, and ferro houses can take just about any shape, making them easy to hide in places the pigs would never think. Below is a free e-book about ferro. Very informative. Concrete Block A mix of one part cement, two parts sand, and four parts gravel can be used for block making. They are connected with cement mortar. Blocks can also be made by compressing concrete and earth with a special press. Peace Corps Building Manual he Peace Corps Construction Manual which teaches how to make block and brick construction with minimal concrete or local soils, it also covers digging wells. Like military manuals the Peace Corps publications are written under government contract with your taxes and are in the public domain, feel free to print, bind, and even sell these books. Visit the website School Bus Even if it will never run again a school bus is still a possibility for shelter, tow it to your site put it on blocks and remove the seats. The upsides are a reasonably large living area and potential for relocation. A bus cabin is real cleanup problem when you vacate, it will also invite police attention so place this option towards the bottom of your list. Immigrant Labor Camp If you happen to appear somewhat browner skinned, most rural WASP's will look right through you if you play to their expectations, taking on Latino laborer dress and keeping your mouth shut can work as great camouflage. Migrant labor camps are usually provided for workers as part of their pay. Conditions are often sparse to tragic as CorpGov and independent farmers just want to make a buck, these are usually not the place to look for shelter unless you look and speak like a native of the lands south of the Rio Grande and are in a very tight situation. Wilderness See Backpacking and Camping Original Rural Living If you are considering moving to the country, especially as a group, you are talking about farms and farmland. There are some farms for rent, and occasionally a family that has to be away for a year or two will let you live on their farm if you keep the place in repair. These can be found advertised in the back of various farming magazines and in the classified sections of newspapers, especially the Sunday editions. Generally speaking, however, if you're interested in a farm, you should be considering an outright purchase. First, you have to determine in what part of the country you want to live in terms of the climate you prefer and how far away from the major cities you wish to locate. The least populated states, such as Utah, Idaho, the Dakotas, Montana and the like, have the cheapest prices and the lowest tax rates. The more populated a state, and in turn, the closer to a city, the higher the commercial value of the land. There are hundreds of different types of farms, so the next set of questions you'll have to raise concerns the type of farm activity you'll want to engage in. Cattle farms are different than vegetable farms or orchards. Farms come in sizes: from half an acre to ranches larger than the state of Connecticut. They will run in price from $30 to $3000 an acre, with the most expensive being prime farmland in fertile river valleys located close to an urban area. The further away from the city and the further up a hill, the cheaper the land gets. It also gets woodier, rockier and steeper, which means less tillable land. If you are talking of living in a farm house and maybe having a small garden and some livestock for your own use, with perhaps a pond on the property, you are looking for what is called a recreational farm. When you buy a recreational farm, naturally you are interested in the house, barn, well, fences, chicken-coop, corrals, woodsheds and other physical structures on the property. Unless these are in unusually good condition or unique, they do not enter into the sale price as major factors. It is the land itself that is bought and sold. Farmland is measured in acreage; an acre being slightly more than 43,560 square feet. The total area is measured in 40-acre plots. Thus, if a farmer or a real estate agent says he has a plot of land down the road, he means a 40-acre farm. Farms are generally measured this way, with an average recreational farm being 160 acres in size or an area covering about 1/2 square mile. A reasonable rate for recreational farmland 100 miles from a major city with good water and a livable house would be about $50 per acre. For a 160-acre farm, it would be $8,000, which is not an awful lot considering what you are getting. For an overall view, get the free catalogues and brochures provided by the United Farm Agency, 612 W. 47th St., Kansas City, Mo. 64112. Now that you have a rough idea of where and what type of farm you want, you can begin to get more specific. Check out the classified section in the Sunday newspaper of the largest city near your desired location. Get the phone book and call or write to real estate agencies in the vicinity. Unlike the city, where there is a sellers' market, rural estate agents collect their fee from the seller of the property, so you won't have to worry about the agent's fee. When you have narrowed down the choices, the next thing you'll want to look at is the plot book for the county. The plot book has all the farms in each township mapped out. lt also shows terrain variations, type of housing on the land, location of rivers, roads and a host of other pertinent information. Road accessibility, especially in the winter, is an important factor. If the farms bordering the one you have selected are abandoned or not in full use, then for all intents and purposes, you have more land than you are buying. After doing all this, you are prepared to go look at the farm itself. Notice the condition of the auxiliary roads leading to the house. You'll want an idea of what sections of the land are tillable. Make note of how many boulders you'll have to clear to do some planting. Also note how many trees there are and to what extent the brush has to be cut down. Be sure and have a good idea of the insect problems you can expect. Mosquitoes or flies can bug the shit out of you. Feel the soil where you plan to have a garden and see how rich it is. If there are fruit trees, check their condition. Taste the water. Find out if hunters or tourists come through the land. Examine the house. The most important things are the basement and the roof. In the basement examine the beams for dry rot and termites. See how long it will be before the roof must be replaced. Next check the heating system, the electrical wiring and the plumbing. Then you'll want to know about services such as schools, snow plowing, telephones, fire department and finally about your neighbors. If the house is beyond repair, you might still want the farm, especially if you are good at carpentry. Cabins, A-Frames, domes and tepees are all cheaply constructed with little experience. Get the materials from your nearest military installation. Finally, check out the secondary structures on the land to see how usable they are. If there is a pond, you'll want to see how deep it is for swimming. If there are streams, you'll want to know about the fishing possibilities; and if large wooded areas, the hunting. In negotiating the final sales agreement, you should employ a lawyer. You'll also want to check out the possibility of negotiating a bank loan for the farm. Don't forget that you have to pay taxes on the land, so inquire from the previous owner or agent as to the tax bill. Usually, you can count on paying about $50 annually per 40-acre plot. Finally, check out the federal programs available in the area. If you can learn the ins and outs of the government programs, you can rip off plenty. The Feed-Grain Program of the Department of Agriculture pays you not to grow grain. The Cotton Subsidy Program pays you not to grow cotton. Also look into the Soil Bank Program of the United States Development Association and various Department of Forestry programs which pay you to plant trees. Between not planting cotton and planting trees, you should be able to manage. Squatting Note:The contents of this page are based on the graphic novel "Survival Without Rent." Survival Without Rent was originally published in 1986. It was revised and expanded in 1989. Not being all text, it included fantastic illustrations, some of which can be viewed at a site that contains images by squatter, activist and artist Seth Tobocman. Small stylistic changes were made as it was keyboarded for uploading to the Internet in February 1997. This book is intended to help people take back the homes that have been taken away from them by government and business. It is dedicated to Eleanor Bumpurs and to the East Fifth Street Squat. As we all know, laws and police tactics change over time, but the principles remain the same, and we can always use this information. repurposing a run down structure as a shelter is a tricky, yet rewarding task This section is designs specifically for locating an abandoned building and making it your somewhat legal residence for as long as possible. As opposed to Low Impact Crashing, where any survival trick goes, the steps listed in this section are designed to be as legal as possible in order to prolong your squat and make it more CorpGov resistant. As this is now part of the wiki it may, over time, be edited to differ from the original squatting guidebook. We expect to see many more abandoned buildings and homeless squats as the USA visits the economic slums in the near future and present. In the spirit of the protocol we use for Abbie Hoffman's original "Steal This Book.", we will divide this page into two sections. The original Survival Without Rent will be included at the bottom of the page. Any new methods, ideas, or legal changes due to the passage of time will be included in the first section. Squatting Foreclosure Squatting In late 2007 as the foreclosure machine gets into full swing and the banks are taking away the apartments and houses of even those who pay their rent every month a new opportunity is available to squatters. Often landlords bought and built on speculation of ever rising land values and low interest rates. Now as additional credit is no longer available, the risk taking of the landlords affects the renters as a surprise eviction with only days or weeks can be attempted by the banks or government. If this happens to you a ready made squatting solution may have been delivered with the eviction notice. After the eviction notice discontinue paying rent, the old owner no longer has a right to your money if he has lost the property because of delinquent taxes or bank foreclosure, but continue paying regular utilities so they are not shut off. Stash any valuables you want to keep with friends as an eventual evictor may be rough with your stuff. Now get legal help and unite your building and others like it in defiance of the CorpGov banking system, squat your own apartment!! Leak Management If your squat place has a leaky roof buckets and pans might be enough until you can do some repairs. For major damage that threatens to rot or mold your place you need to set up a system of tarp pools and chutes. Large tarps and sheet plastic can be used, we found good instructions in an old firefighters training manual. For a pool the tarp is under-rolled from four sides with the under-rolling forming walls, then the corners are folded under to keep the rolls tight. If a spillway is needed one corner can be left without an underfold. The pool can be emptied with a garden hose siphon, don't let the spoiled water touch your mouth, coil the hose up in the full pool forcing out the air and plug the end, when you are downstairs unplug the hose and the siphon will run. A tarp water chute is made by under-rolling the sides of a tarp and running it downhill or stairway to the outside. It might be possible to make a large cone from a tarp or plastic and clamp drain pipe or hose to run water out from a large building, it is best to drain this into a storm sewer. Drainage In a condemned building squat where there is no possibility of rebuilding the bathroom plumbing you might consider cutting a hole in the floor and installing a drain using inexpensive drainage tubing and cement or roofing compound for a seal and running it out to the city storm sewer, this wil only work on upper floors where a gravity siphon will carry the water down and across the yard. If possible also seal and build up the floor to slope into the drain, have a cleanout or elbow in the pipe to catch valuables, crud, and hair. Replumbing If the pipes are ripped out of your squat start by replumbing with scrap pipe, garden hose, splices, and hose clamps an improvised reinstall will not look too nice but will work just as well as real pipe in the short term when there is a question of how long your stay will be. Shower Enclosure If you are not fortunate to have a plumbed squat building or access to a lockable public restroom but can access an unused room with a floor drain you are still in luck. Plastic sheeting is an inexpensive way to make a temporary shower enclosure in a room and still be able to live in it without soaking your gear while also providing some privacy. Hang your siphon shower directly above the floor drain, then hang the plastic sheeting from a hula hoop or PVC pipe frame, it might also work to tape it directly to the ceiling, wrap the curtain sheet around with an entry slit and attach a second piece that acts as a collection tub on the bottom, cut a hole for the drain and tape down around the floor drain, an extra flap of plastic over the opening slit will help prevent splash out. A kids inflatable pool is another good way to catch water, be careful especially with the larger pools as they can end up being quite a heavy load on a rotten upper floor, siphon the waste water out the window with a piece of hose if you have no nearby drain, remember the hose must extend outside to below the water level of the pool. Rewiring Attach wire or extension cords high up on the walls, be careful about taping and protecting splices and don't overload the capacity of the wire, (rule of thumb warm wire is always dangerous, cool wire might be dangerous), keep everything too high for kids or water to get to it. Consider building a circuit breaker box to protect against shorts and overloads. Get help from somebody who really knows electrical wiring, unplanned ad-hoc setup can cause fires. A Warm Bed One of the most miserable parts of alternative housing and homelessness is that it seems that you are damp and freezing your ass off 24/7 all winter long. Most squats have no electricity or gas so heating is really expensive and often dangerous. The worst time to feel cold is when you are trying to sleep, being chilled at night ruins your health and keeps you from getting proper rest making you ineffective to our cause. Cargo Pallet Bed For the most part we all carry a decent sleeping bag and this is your first priority in getting proper bedding. Once this is taken care of you need to get off of the ground and get some sleep. Even a dry floor in an unheated squat steals heat and collects condensation preventing a truly warm nights sleep. Dry cardboard and newspaper have some insulating properties but they get gross and collect condensation sometimes as quickly as one night or two. While you are collecting the stuff you need to make a proper bed, find two or three wooden freight pallets in good condition to get you off of the floor. They are behind almost every business, factory, and strip mall. Be sure to hammer down the nails so you don't rip your bag or hurt yourself, now pad the pallets with a few of those cheap lint blankets they give away at homeless shelters or if you cant get any blankets right away use a protective layer of newspaper or cardboard, if you have on just cover the pallets with your closed cell(non-inflatable) camping pad. Now that you are off of the ground and feeling a little better lets try to make you a decent bed that will really keep you warm and keep the cold out. See more beds in Free Furniture Original Content, Survival Without Rent Introduction The housing situation in NYC rapidly becomes worse and worse. Abandoned buildings deteriorate with every winter. Low income housing and homesteading programs have disappeared along with our elected officials' promises. Now is the time to take the situation into our own hands. What we're saying is that housing policy is dishonest and an insult to anyone living in welfare hotels, crowded conditions or in the park. These laws are put together by people who can only be described as common criminals who wear nice clothes and live in two or three nice homes. They would never dream of living in the conditions that we are used to. These people profit from our misery. They don't have a grain of sympathy for us, our children, or the sometimes unbearable conditions in which we are forced to live. This little book has been put together to help people with little or no money find a solution to their housing problems. We hope that after reading it, people will look at an abandoned building in a totally new light. You might think that living in the conditions we describe in this book is pretty crude. We hope you won't be forced to live like this. But if it sounds better than what you've got now, we hope you'll be inspired to give it a try. We will go through a step-by-step guide on how to find your building, what to look for, and the cheapest and easiest ways of making it comfortable. Once you are in the building, you will have to deal with the law eventually, so we have included a section covering some basics to keep the police from messing you up. We aim in this book to show methods that you can use to live more comfortably and safely than on the street. We believe that -- even if you have no money at all and don't want to have anything to do with other people -- you will still find the ideas in this book useful. It may be less work and in some ways more comfortable to live in a shelter. However, we believe that if you can manage to take an empty building, you will have a home with more selfrespect and more independence than just about anyone. You can get off the street or out of the shelter and make a decent home for yourself very simply. If you do, we hope that you will use whatever political, legal, or other means you can to keep the powers-that-be from making you homeless again. Mayor Koch once said that if you can't afford to live here, you should get out. Let's give him (and his successors) our answer: We're taking our homes for ourselves here. Koch and his cronies can take it or leave it themselves. You can improve a vacant lot without being busted for trespassing -insist on your right to squat on unused PUBLIC property. Here are some (now outdated) facts to consider if you are not sure whether it is right for you to make a home for yourself in a building that you don't "legally" own. • Two-thirds of New Yorkers pay 40 percent or more of their income for housing, while most of the top quarter of the income scale pay less 40 percent. One hundred thousand people are homeless in New York City. The city government owns 65 percent of the vacant properties in Harlem and other areas of the city. Thirty-six thousand apartments were converted to co-ops and condos between 1981 and 1984. Twenty-seven percent of homeless people were forced out of their homes by eviction. Three hundred and ten thousand units have been emptied by emptied by abandonment, disinvestment and arson. • • • • • How to Form a Group This first part is often the trickiest, since a bad, untogether group will do more damage to the project than the city government will in many cases. The people you live and work with are more important than the building that you chose. One of the most important aspects of a group is diversity. Every group has its own style: some are more political than others; some like to party; some like to be real business-like and legal; some are arty; others are just trying to get over and off the street. Whatever your group is like, you should keep in mind that not only do you have to relate to each other, you also have to relate to your community. If your neighborhood is all the same ethnic group as the members of your group, you don't have to worry about diversity. But if your group has only token members of the main ethnic group in the neighborhood, then you could get yourself in some trouble. A group of people living and working together who all agree on everything cannot exist: someone in the group is always going to have to shelve, give up or compromise on an idea. As you will be living in the unfamiliar condition of having no landlord, no way of calling in the police to settle your differences, you should give some thought to the kind of people you want to live with. Once you've decided to squat, its up to you to make the first contact. How you do this depends on your situation. If you live in a welfare hotel or a shelter, you will have a readily-available supply of people who are in the same situation as you. After studying this book, the next time someone says to you, "God! I'm sick of this shit," spring the idea on them. Sit down, have a coffee and go over the pros and cons of squatting. We're sure you're going to disagree with some of the things we say, just as sure as you will come up with ideas of your own (with enough energy and luck). Communicating with people in this way you will soon find yourself in a group which is seriously considering the option of squatting. We feel that six adults is a big enough group to go to a building (figure out yourselves what "adult" means). If for some reason your group is only two or three people, don't be discouraged. Go ahead with the project, since once a building is opened, within weeks you'll have people coming around, looking for a place to stay. If for some reason you happen to be isolated, that is, living alone in a hotel, or even in the park, and you can't get enough people interested or organized, then don't give up! Remember that this city is full of homeless people and all you need is a few of them to start your group. You could advertise on lamp posts and bulletin boards. For example: "Wanted: people interested in homesteading. Contact ----." (Note: some squatters call themselves homesteaders when dealing with the public, but in many areas no one understands what this means.) The groups listed at the end of this book may help you make contracts. We have found that a set of rules is must for any new group. The rules should be discussed in detail and agreed upon by all concerned. They should be written down, since verbal agreements tend to get pretty vague after a few months. Here is one set of house rules you can think about if you need ideas for your own: • • • No hard drugs: they can be used as a pretext to throw everyone out of the building. No violence. No stealing. Breaking any of these first three rules can get you thrown out of the squat, though everyone should remember that squatters have no legal right to throw anyone out or evict them. • Every member must work a minimum of hours per month on the common areas of the building. Jobs may include childcare and other non-construction work. What work people do depends on their abilities. Every member must pay a certain amount per month to a construction fund for the common areas of the building: roof, stairs, plumbing, electricity, etc. The construction funds should be deposited in a joint account, which requires at least two signatures to get money from. The name on the account should be something like "The 537 E. 5th St. Homestead Association." All new members must go through a trial period in which they work on the building with old members for a month, and can then be accepted as a member by agreement of all the other members. • • • We want to emphasize again that these rules are our own, and you will probably need to adapt them to your own circumstances. We also hope people will keep in mind the cruel wave of evictions that has made so many people homeless when they consider whether or not some offense is serious enough to throw a member out. Finding a Building and Investigating It New York City is full of empty buildings that range from totally destroyed shells all the way to buildings that are in OK shape. The way to find a building is to simply walk around the streets with your eyes open. Try to concentrate on areas where people are already squatting or homesteading, as you will usually get less hassle from the neighbors if you squat there. Look at the buildings surrounding the one you've got your eye on. If the surroundings look as if they've been renovated for well-off people, this may mean more hassles from neighbors and police. The neighbors can be dealt with just by talking to them and explaining your case. Give them some figures on how many people are homeless. Tell them who is in your group and how you came to be in the situation you're in. Be realistic and honest. See what you can find out from them. Ask about the history of the building and whether or not any one has been using it since it was abandoned. Try to get an idea if any community groups, politicians, gangs or real estate operators have an eye on the building. If so, figure out if they are for real and, if not, whether you will be able to take the building and keep them off your back. If you think they are for real, you might approach them and see if you can work together. You may also meet squatters who still have room in their buildings and are looking for new members. Be polite, but be careful of people who are in too big a hurry to be your friend. Be particularly careful to avoid antagonizing any of your neighbors during the first month, that is, until you've established your residence. As for dealing with the police, refer to the chapter on legal hassles. You will notice that some buildings have been painted with squares. These squares are painted by the city government to indicate the status of the building. An empty square indicates that the building is abandoned. A square with a slash in it indicates that fire fighters should be cautious entering the building. A square with an X in it indicates that the building is condemned. Don't presume the building is not good: perfectly good buildings get condemned all the time. It's worth knowing whether a building is still privately owned or has been taken over by the city government. If the owner of a building shows up and wants you out, it is easier for him to get you evicted than it is for the city to get you out of one of their buildings. Also, if it ever gets to the point that you want to hold on to the building you have squatted and stay there over a long term, it is possible to do so with city-owned buildings, but practically impossible with privately-owned buildings. People on the block may know if the city owns a building or not, but to be sure you should check at city hall. In NYC, the place to go if the Office of the City Register, Room 20531, Chambers Street. Take the exact address of the building with you. In the office, look first at the Lot and Block maps. Find the block number and the lot number of the address in which you're interested. The records are kept according to these numbers and not according to addresses. When you have this information, check out the micro film for the building (you need ID to do this). When you're reading the microfilm, go directly to the last few pages in the records to find the last transaction, because this will tell you who owns the building now. The city government ends up owning a building when the previous owner didn't pay the taxes on it; the city takes the building (forecloses) in lieu of back taxes. So look for a statement of foreclosure. Have a look at the exterior walls of the building you're researching. You may have to wait until you've gotten inside before you can get to the back of the building, but what you need to look at is the same. Are there major holes in the masonry? If they can't be filled or covered, they might be significant structural defects. Are there signs of bulging or sagging? Are there wide gaps where the mortar joints should be? If the answer is "Yes" to any of these questions, find another building to squat. Is the fire escape pulling loose from the wall? Is it falling apart? Is the cornice (the part that sticks out from the face of the building along the roof) broken apart and dangling? If the answer to any of these questions is "Yes," you've got dangers to people walking on the sidewalk in front of the building, and so you will have to fix these problems. But remember: though a cornice is just a decorative frill (and so can be removed or tied back so it won't fall), its deterioration can be a sign of overall deterioration. A dangerous cornice is a building code violation and can get your squat closed down. OK, so at this point you've got your eye on a certain building and, from the outside, it doesn't look too bad. Now for a look inside. To be on the safe side as far as getting hassled goes, it may be best to go in the evening when it is dark. But it may be that, after familiarizing yourself with the neighborhood, you feel comfortable with entering the building during the daytime. Either way, bring a strong flashlight and be very careful where you step and what you hold on to. It's very easy -- if you are not watching what you are doing -- to step through a rotted floor board or lose your balance when a piece of broken window frame comes loose in your hand. The riskiest part of an abandoned building is usually at the top, because there are usually some bad leaks in the roof that will cause rot. But dangers can be found aplenty on the lower floors, too: vandalism and fire damage can be found anywhere in a building, and years of leakage will result in lower-floor rot as well. Normally the easiest way in is through the back. You can climb up the fire escape and go in a window. Even if the back is bricked up, you can get to the roof, and from there it is often easy to find a way in. Now, say there's no way into the back -- what do you do? You're going to need about five people and a 12-foot ladder. Two people are needed as lookouts; one person holds the ladder while the remaining two enter the building. It's always useful to have one person with you who has some knowledge of old buildings, so if no one in your group knows old buildings, you should get someone who does to help out. If you are unfortunate enough to choose a building that is totally bricked up, your only way in will probably be on the roof. If you can't get up to the roof, you will have to chisel out a couple of concrete blocks from a window and get in through the opening you've created. We recommend that as few people as possible do this so that too much attention isn't attracted. It is easy to get in if you can get friendly with someone who lives next door: you can get onto the roof of the building you're interested in through this person's building. So! After days of planning, hassles, people not showing up, and trying to get organized, you're finally inside and ready to inspect the building. It will almost certainly look and smell like shit: it will be full of old rotting furniture, rubble and ceilings that have fallen down all over the place. Some apartments in the building will be burnt-out. Don't be discouraged by any of this, for it's all quite normal. Inspect the roof. Check it for holes. Look for missing, burnt or rotted joists, which are the timbers that support roofs and floors. Rot can be tested by sticking a knife in the lumber as far as it will go. When checking for rot, find a spot where the leaking water soaks in and doesn't dry up right away. Up to an inch may be rotted or burnt, and the timbers might still be OK. The ends of the joists can suffer a lot of deterioration without endangering the structure, but the joists in the middle cannot be weakened without risking collapse. Check the parapet walls around the roof to see if (or how badly) they are falling apart and what will need to be done to them to make them safe. Inspect the stairs. If you're lucky, there will be nothing wrong with the stairs except for some missing steps. If the building has no staircase at all, you will have a lot of work to do, perhaps too much. Until you are able to replace the stairs, you will have to use the fire escape or a ladder in place of stairs. There are enough buildings with stairs around that you may be wasting your time on one that doesn't have any staircase at all. One squat in NYC was evacuated by the Fire Department for not having stairs. Eviction by HPD (Housing Preservation and Development, which is the landlord of city-owned buildings) can be delayed by legal means for a long time. But evacuation by the city's Fire, Health or Buildings Departments is swift and hard to contest. Inspect the floor joists. These are the timbers that support the floors. Make note where they are missing or damaged. If the floors are sloping more than an inch or so, this may mean that the structure has shifted so much that it has become dangerous. If timbers are dangerously damaged, they can be braced by scavenged lumber (four-by-fours are best). Inspect the sewer pipes. The toilets will typically be smashed or missing, but the water pipes may be in salvageable condition. Follow the waste pipes through the building down to the basement, checking for holes along the way. Look for holes in the walls which HPD -- upon taking over the building -- may have made in order to damage the pipes and thereby discourage squatters. Copper water pipes will certainly have been stripped, but if there were steel pipes originally, they may still be in place and usable. If your plumbing is in OK condition, you can probably get your water running pretty soon. Otherwise you can get water from a fire hydrant, which can be opened with a pipe wrench. Inspect the front door. If the front of the building has been sealed with concrete blocks, make sure that the door or any windows are ready to use before you knock the blocks out. If there is already a working door you can use or if you have to knock a hole in the block wall and install a door in the opening (see below), make sure you are ready to keep the building secured once you have opened it and made your use of the building public. Getting In Now, you're ready to move in. If the area you're in is run-down, it's possible that no one will bother you while you smash out the concrete blocks. With a twelve-pound sledge hammer, a door sized opening can take as few as seven-and-a-half minutes to create. Quickly get all the broken blocks off the sidewalk and into the building; sweep up to remove signs of your work. You may want to keep a low profile and do this while look-outs watch for the cops, or bring along lots of friends and supporters, and dare the cops to intervene. It is also possible, and it may be preferable, to work from the inside out, to chisel the blocks out discreetly, one by one. You should have a door and frame prepared to set into the new opening. Measure and mark the hole you've opened with your new door in mind. In any case, work quickly and as quietly as possible. Once inside, unless there is a usable door in place, either set up a barricade or install a door. Steel door frames and doors are easily scavenged from demolition or rehab sites. Unless you're pretty strong, it will take two people to carry a steel door or a cart to roll it on. To install the front door, set the frame in the opening and fill in around the edges with pieces of broken blocks and some mortar (a couple of bags of mortar mix should be enough). Make certain that the bottom of the door frame is exactly as wide as the top when it is set in place. Otherwise the door won't work. Use a board that has been cut to exactly the right width to keep the correct space at the bottom of the frame while it is being installed. Make sure the frame is straight up and down and not crooked, bent or twisted out of line in the opening. If the frame you have is bent, you can straighten it with a hammer, laying it on the pavement and using a block of wood to protect it from getting dented up too much. Install the frame so that the door will open into the building. There are steel tabs on the inside of the door frame that are meant to be bent out so that they will anchor the frame into the mortar joints in the block wall. As you fill in the opening around the door frame with mortar and block, be sure that the inside of the frame itself is filled with mortar and block pieces, because the frame is not solid by itself. If you're not able to afford or install a heavy duty bolt lock on the door, a heavy chain and a padlock will do the trick. Pass the chain through a hole in the door and around the door frame. Paint the name of your group and your address on the door. For the example: "The 537 East Fifth Street Homestead Association and Neighborhood Improvement Committee." Do all the work that you can in advance so that on your opening day you can simply set your door, lock and door frame in place all in one go. If this is more than you can manage right away, you'll need to rig up some sort of barricade for the doorway and have someone inside at all times to let others in and out. You should not leave your building unattended in any case, especially right after you move in. It is good to have someone on hand to watch the place when most people are out during the day. The risk from police and other evildoers is high right after the building is occupied. Don't let anyone in that you're not sure about; don't let any cops or city officials in under any circumstances unless they have a warrant. (See the legal section for what to do if the police do have a warrant.) Keep the door closed and locked at all times, don't sit out on your stoop with the door unlocked or open. Needless to say, you're in the building illegally, and so there is no need to make your front door an open invitation to cops and thieves. Nothing is worse than coming home to find that your tools, sleeping bags and heaters have been ripped off -- except maybe walking upstairs to your apartment and meeting a junk-sick thief running downstairs with your radio in one hand and a knife in the other. Your security depends on making it so difficult to enter your building that most thieves will pass it up. If your building looks funky and people on the street can see that only poor people live there, you won't need as much security. You should keep your ground floor windows barred or sealed with concrete block or even plywood. Eliminate hand and footholds by knocking them off or by setting nails or broken glass in masonry cement or roofing cement. More of the same or coiled barbed wire around the base of the fire escape and continuing across the face of the building at the second floor level will help to deter climbers. Grates on windows facing the fire escape are good, but it will take a lot of them to do your whole building. It might be good enough to bolt full sheets of plywood to the outside of the fire escape railing on the second floor. This will make a wall around the fire escape too high to climb over. You can top it off with a coil of barbed wire or nails. The roof is another point of entry, so be sure that the penthouse door is secured. Note well that having a front door with a lock, beds and other basics such as a kitchen is good for your own well-being, but it is also important in establishing that you are a resident and not a trespasser. It may seem like a small point, but it is actually quite important. It can make the difference between getting run out of the building by the cops if they feel like doing it and getting them to back down so that they will have to wait until HPD manages to go through the lengthy proceedings necessary to legally evict you. Emergency Repairs In most cases, the most important repair that abandoned buildings need is work on the roof, which will almost certainly leak. The roof will typically have a large hole or two in it caused by a fire, fire fighters or vandals from the city government. For your own comfort, it may only be necessary to locate a room into which there is no leakage. However, a building in which the roof leaks will have lots of spaces in which no one will be able to live. You want to avoid squatting in a building such as this, because the more people you have living in your building, the better your chances of resisting eviction and protecting yourself against hassles from the city and from thieves and drug dealers. The more people you have, the more comfortable and secure you can make your place. The long-term maintenance of a building depends more on the roof than on any other single thing. If the roof is not maintained, it will eventually rot until it collapses. The floors will go and, sooner or later, the exterior walls will collapse. Then what you got is a pile of useless, rotten timber and broken masonry -- which will cost the city a lot of money to clear out and turn into a vacant lot. Unfortunately, letting abandoned buildings rot until they collapse is just what HPD is doing with the buildings it owns. Don't let the city get away with it! Clear the roof of any debris and sweep it clean. Patch the holes. You can lay 5/8-inch-thick plywood boards over them. Try using mineralized felt paper and roofing tar as a way of patching holes. If your roof is so far gone that you have to cover it entirely, get someone who works as a roofer to help you out. To do this kind of work, you should be able to get the materials you donated by groups or organizations such as the Riverside Church, the Church of Saint John the Divine, or the Listener's Auction radio station WBAI-FM. [Note: if you have some work to get done, its helpful to write your plans down on paper, step by step, and keep track of any changes you make in the plans as you work. Make drawings or diagrams that describe and show how to do the jobs that are hard to explain in words; they will make it easier to organize and help get people involved in the project. Books such as the Reader's Digest Complete Do-it-Yourself Manual or Carpentry and Construction are handy for dealing with construction problems and can be found in the public libraries. We've found that books dealing specifically with roofing, electrical work, plumbing and other "specialized" trades are also easily obtained.] If repairing the roof is too big a project to take on right away, you can use polyethylene plastic sheeting to protect the roof temporarily. Get a hundred-foot roll of 4 mil plastic that is twenty feet wide, and a couple of buckets of flashing cement. (Be sure to get flashing cement, because other kinds of roofing tar won't do the trick.) Begin by clearing and sweeping the surface of the roof clean. Fill or cover up all the holes. Make sure that the roof drain is clear and unclogged at all times. Unroll the plastic so that the entire roof is covered. If you have to cut the plastic to cover the entire roof evenly, make sure the lap joints where the edges of the plastic meet each other are perfectly sealed with flashing cement, leaving not even the smallest gap. Drape the ends of the plastic over the parapet walls on all four sides. Lay bricks or boards on top of the plastic so that the wind doesn't blow it around. Fasten the ends to the walls with the flashing cement or with boards that have nails driven in to the mortar joints between the brick in the parapets. This is a somewhat temporary protection, but if you do a good job, it should make it through the winter. But summer heat will certainly cook the plastic until it breaks apart. To make your plastic roof a bit more permanent, spread flashing cement over the entire surface of the roof before laying the plastic down. Make sure that there are no bubbles in the plastic and that all of the plastic is stuck to the cement below. If you have leftover plastic, you can use it to seal the places where window are missing. Use lath, which is the thin slat with which plaster walls used to be made, to nail the plastic to the window frame or staple it up using strips of cardboard as reinforcement. You can also use leftover plastic to make tents for your living areas: these can be really handy in the cold winter months in NYC. Shore the place up. Close off any areas of the building where the floor or the roof is unsafe. Then if you can't replace, repair or reinforce the damaged timbers, you can brace them with four-by-fours or pairs of two-by-fours that have been nailed together. Be sure to brace the damaged timber against something solid or otherwise you're just making the problem worse. The brace must ultimately be supported by a bearing wall or footing. You can brace down to a joist if its near a load-bearing wall. You can generally assume that brick, block, or stone exterior walls are load-bearing walls and that interior walls (studs with lath and plaster) are probably not. However, just because a wall is not a load bearing wall doesn't mean you can take it out safely. Even if it is only a partition wall it can't be safely removed if there are walls in the corresponding places on the floors above it. Even if there is no wall above the one you're thinking of removing, you have to make certain that the floor joists above are not being supported by or, as a result of settling, come to rest upon it. Missing stair steps can be temporarily replaced with wooden ones. If there's no other way to secure them in place, drive nails through the top and then go underneath and bend the nails' tips over so that they will hook on to the steel part of the stairway. Cover holes in the floor with plywood until you can get around to replacing the missing flooring. Holes in sewage pipes can be patched by a variety of methods, including fiber glass, auto body filler with window screen, and even roofing cement. The waste pipes have already been discussed: they should be tested to see if they will drain but not leak. Until you've got the pipes working, you'll have to dump your piss and other waste waters in the storm sewer in the street. Do not dump your waste waters out the window! To remove debris, start at the top of your building and work down. Don't throw stuff out of upper story windows, because you may draw justified complaints and hassles from your neighbors. Since you may not be able to get the kind of tube that contractors use to get stuff down from the upper floors to the street, you may have to take up the flooring in the same corner on each floor and throw the unwanted stuff down through the holes. Once at the ground floor, the debris can be chucked out the back of the building or bagged and taken out for bulk refuse collection by the Sanitation Department. (It might take quite a few tries to get a response from Sanitation; it depends on who you talk to. When you find someone who is helpful, get their name and only deal with them in the future.) If you use the through-the-floor method, hang a curtain of plastic that stretches from floor to ceiling on each of the affected floors, so that dust or asbestos particles won't spread all over the place. Asbestos causes cancer and other serious diseases. There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos fibers. Studies of exposure to asbestos suggest that as little as one day can result in significant damage to the respiratory system and disease. But the health risks of asbestos come into play only if the fibers are released from the material and enter the air. If the material is in excellent condition and not in a living area, left it alone. A greater hazard can be created than originally existed if the asbestos is removed by inexperienced people. Only trained asbestos abatement professionals should remove materials containing asbestos, which is typically found in boiler and pipe insulation. It may also be found in radiator covers, fire-proof doors and certain kinds of light-weight construction blocks. If you see insulation that is not fiberglass, that is ripped, split, ragged or powdery looking (don't touch it!), you should get the material tested for asbestos. Contact the White Lung Association (at 718 389 5546) and arrange to have a sample tested. The WLA also gives courses in asbestos removal. If for some reason you must handle asbestos, be sure to wear disposable gloves and a respirator that has been approved for use with asbestos. A half-face respirator equipped with a High Efficiency Particulate Absolute filter will be sufficient. Keep the asbestos wet. The weight of the water will keep the asbestos particles from becoming air-borne. Note: it's a good idea to take photographs or shoot videotape of the work you have done on the building, even if it seems as if you are documenting crimes you have committed. You're not! Save your receipts for any materials you buy. Keep records of the jobs you did and the hours (or weeks or months) it took you and your group to do them. All of this is documentation that you are a homesteader and not a trespasser, a vagrant or a drifter (common stereotypes for squatters). Light, Heat, and Fire Safety Candles are the easiest way to provide light. The best kind are in tall glass containers, the kind that often have pictures of saints or magic charms on them. They last a long time and are not easily blown out. The cold does not easily shatter them. Somewhat better light can be provided by oldfashioned kerosene lamps. If you use them, trim your wicks now and then to make the brightest flame and least smoke. Coleman lanterns generate light as bright as incandescent light, and in a pinch duel fuel ones can burn clean kerosene too. Kerosene lamps are safer than the gasoline lanterns, although it takes longer to light. Kerosene is generally cheaper and easier to get than white gas. In New York City, heating is not merely a creature comfort in the winter. Tenants can sue their landlords for not providing enough heat and it is well known that are deaths from hypothermia among people living on the street and in unheated apartments. We think kerosene heaters -- though they can be messy and fire hazards -- are a practical and economical means of heating. Kerosene heaters aren't legal but can be bought in the outer boroughs and New Jersey. It's worth it to get your kerosene outside of Manhattan since the price will be much higher in this borough of the city. Please! do not store your kerosene in rooms in which heaters will be operated and never go to sleep with the heater on. Get a wood stove if you can, because it can be a very cheap source of heat. Wood stoves are also safer and healthier than kerosene heaters. If you can't find one, you can make one from a discarded steel drum. Start by making two holes in the drum: one to put the wood in (this one will need a door to keep smoke from backing out into the air), and another for the smoke to go out and into a flue pipe that you will have to make. The easiest way to cut these two holes is to drill a pilot hole to start each new cut, and then make your cuts using a jig saw with a sheet-metal blade. If there is no way for you to make use of power tools, you could even cut the holes using a cold chisel. The hole for the flue must be measured to fit the flue pipe: four or five inches in diameter seems good to us. The swinging door will have to be attached by hinges that are located along the bottom of the opening. The door will also have to be lockable. A damper will allow you to control how fast the fire burns without opening and closing the door (which is also a method of controlling the blaze). A damper can be made by cutting a round piece of sheet metal slightly less than the diameter of the flue. Punch two holes on opposite ends from each other in the lue pipe. Stick a piece of heavy wire through the holes and attach the round piece to it. When the round piece is in the up-and-down position it allows the smoke through freely and thus stokes the fire; the more you turn it toward the side-to-side position it restricts the flow of smoke and thus the pace of the blaze. You will need to set the stove on some kind of support that will keep it well above floor level. You can use anything you can find -- bricks, old bed frames, etc. -- as long as it won't burn or char. Never burn painted, shellacked or treated wood in your stoves: they give off poisonous fumes and gases. Since complaints can be made to the Fire Department about smoke coming from your squat, it is important that the smoke from your stove runs out of a proper flue or chimney. If your building has a chimney, make sure it is clear of obstructions. To see if the chimney is clear, you can put a flashlight in one of the flue holes, take yourself up to the roof and look down to see if you can see the light. You can locate the chimney stack in your apartment because it sticks out into the room from the wall on either side of it. The hole for the flue in the chimney may be open or bricked up or completely hidden by plaster or sheet rock. If so, just chop it open with a hammer. If you don't have a chimney or the chimney is blocked and you can't clear it, then you'll have to chop a flue hole in the wall or run the flue pipe out a window. In either case, the flue pipe should go all the way up and past the roof by five feet. Fire extinguishers and smoke alarms are well worth having for your own safety as well as in case any city officials manage to get inside your building and have a chance to look around for code violations. Place the smoke alarms so that the stoves don't set them off continually. Keep your place well ventilated no matter how you heat it in the winter, and never leave a fire or a heater unattended. Keep passages, halls, stairs and fire escapes clear of obstructions. Place fire extinguishers or buckets of sand or water on every floor and in locations where they can be easily reached. Form an arson watch. A round-the-clock fire and safety watch may be advisable for your situation. If so, there may be already an arson watch group or community safety patrol of some sort in your neighborhood. These organizations are well worth joining or starting yourself with others squatters and/or with like-minded tenants in the area. (Note added February 1997: On the afternoon of 9 February 1997, a small, accidental fire broke out on the second floor of the East Fifth Street Squat. The cause of the fire was a faulty electric space heater. The residents evacuated the building and left it in the hands of the Fire Department, which delayed in putting out the blaze, thus making the fire more damaging than it needed to have been. Once the Fire Department was through, the combined forces of the police and the Department of HPD conspired to illegally keep the residents from returning to their squatted building, which was deemed "dangerous" and demolished right in front of its former occupants within a day or two after the fire. The moral of the story seems clear: put your fires out yourself and trust the Fire Department as much as you do the police!) Makeshift Toilets, Water, and Cooking Use buckets or empty bottles for waste waters. Keep the buckets from getting foul by never putting toilet paper in them and by rinsing them with lime or a disinfectant. Construction sites are easy sources of empty five gallon buckets. As far as shitting goes, do it on a few sheets of the New York Times, wrap it up, put it in a plastic bag and throw the bag into a trash can on the street. To avoid unnecessary hassles, do not use the trash cans owned by your neighbors. If you let your place get unsanitary, you can have complaints lodged against you by the Health Department, which will not only get you thrown out in a big hurry, but will also make hassles for other squatters. Keep your food hanging in a bag or on a shelf hanging by wire so that mice and bugs and cats can't get to it. Do the same for your garbage and dispose of it every day. This way you won't get any mice or bugs and your cats will only eat what they are supposed to. To make an alcohol stove start with an empty can. Loosely pack it with cloth: gauze bandage is best. You will need something to set the can on so it doesn't rest directly on the burner. You can place a grill (an old refrigerator shelf will do nicely) on top of some bricks. Or you can place the burner can inside a larger one. For example, you could put a beer can inside of a coffee can. (Your pot would then sit on top of the coffee can.) The larger can should have holes punched around the top with a can opener, so that when you put a pot on top the burner won't be sealed off from the air. Punch holes around the bottom rim of the can to help the flow of air. You may find that holes around the top of the burner can are also needed. To fire it up, pour rubbing alcohol on the cloth until it is soaked and then light it. The stove should burn for about 15 minutes. (Never refuel while its still burning, and never use anything stronger than 70% isopropyl alcohol as fuel.) Enclose the whole thing in a metal reflector to keep the heat in and cut down on drafts. Otherwise, it'll take forever to get anything hot. If water accumulates in the gauze, just take it out and squeeze it dry. You might consider using propane camp stoves with large tanks and hoses attached as your foodcooking device. They are very practical and economical. You might consider using an ordinary gas stove: they are easy to find on the street, and you can put propane jets on them to make them work better. But you should be careful that the one your are using doesn't leak. A backpack stove is handy for traveling light and is small enough to hide easily in a building in which there are security problems. To make your squatted apartment space more comfortable, contact the Red Cross and the local churches. They might well give you blankets or sell them to you for cheap. When the weather gets very cold, a tent of some kind around your bed will really make a difference. Insulation can be made by putting rugs or thick cloth on the floors, walls and ceilings. If no one is living above you, you can fill that room with garbage bags filled with newspapers. Newspapers can also be used for wallpaper (especially The Daily News, "New York's Picture Newspaper"). Such wallpaper -especially if it is painted over -- will reduce the problem of old paint or plaster that has begun to flake off. Windows and panes can be scavenged from construction sites at which buildings are being renovated, and from window suppliers that leave unwanted stuff out on the street. Doors can also be obtained in the same ways. Electricity, water and other services can all be provided by a variety of methods that you will be able to discover by using your imagination and staying in contact with other squatters. Getting hooked up with the public utilities providers can be a way of strengthening your case that you are community members and not trespassers. Legal Hassles Every effort you can make to show that you have established as normal as possible a residence will be an advantage in dealing with the law. Operate on the assumption that you are a law-abiding citizen and a legal tenant of the building in which you are squatting until it has been decided otherwise in a court of law. Use your address freely, and get library cards, swimming cards and other forms of ID that have your address on it. Have mail sent to you at your building. This will help you prove that you live there and that you aren't breaking-and-entering or trespassing. Put your address on the front door and make a mail slot in it. Find out when mail is delivered to your street and be there when the mail carrier comes by. Explain that you are living here and that you will be receiving mail at this location. Sometimes the carriers will be uncooperative, but usually they will be friendly if you are friendly. If friendliness doesn't work, it might be that the carrier you've talked to isn't the regular one, or that several carriers take turns delivering mail to your street and thus don't feel any inclination to helping you out. Try a different mail carrier. If nothing else works, try the postmaster at the office for your route. He or she might tell you that there has to be a mailbox locked and unlocked by keys for the carriers to deliver mail, or that you are not a legal tenant, or that you don't own the building, blah blah blah. Point out as politely as you can that the building isn't a multiple dwelling unit, that it is undergoing renovation at the moment, and that the addresses on the letters that will be sent to the people who are living there will not have separate apartment numbers on them. Tell the postmaster that you are living there and (more to the point) have not been evicted yet, so your legal status as a tenant simply has not been decided in court as of yet. Tell that bureaucrat that your tenancy is a civil matter between you and the City of New York, and not a criminal matter involving the federal government and your right to receive your mail. If nothing works, it may actually enable you to get an eviction case thrown out of court. If you cannot get any of your mail because of the Post Office's refusals to deliver it, you literally can't be served with an eviction notice, which typically arrives by mail and is not served in person! If it is not delivered to your building, your mail will be held for you at the local post office. Once picked up, such mail can still serve as proof of residence. Never sign for or accept any registered or certified mail until you are absolutely sure it is not from the city government. It could be a summons or an eviction notice! There is something to be said for putting wild shapes, slogans and colors on the front of your squat: it underlines the changes that the building is going through and shows that you are proud of them and of your role in bringing about these changes. There is also something to be said for making the front of your building look as much like an ordinary building as possible. In either case, working diligently and productively on the front will give your neighbors a chance to size you up, to come out and talk to you. They will respect you when they see you working on your place. Go to block association meetings and seek their support. Although the members of the block association may be merchants and professionals, they may want to help you if they see that you are making good use of the building and that you are not housing or attracting drug dealers, users, pimps or prostitutes. If there is no block association, you may want to start one. You can rally your neighbors by pointing out that both squatters (or homesteaders) and rent-paying tenants want to stop the twin-headed monster of benign neglect and gentrification. Once you've got your block association together you can go to your local Community Board to seek their support as well. Its also worthwhile to check out whatever housing and tenants' organizations are active in your neighborhood. If you are confronted by the police or officials from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, you have a right to all the protections inherent in the eviction process. You can ask for a postponement of your case because you haven't been able to get a lawyer, or because your lawyer has had insufficient time to prepare your case or cannot appear in court the day your case is to be heard. And so on. In the meantime, you're still living in your building. Since HPD is often bogged down in lengthy eviction proceedings -- some of which it loses -- this bureaucracy may very well try to get other city departments to throw you out. You cannot be denied welfare benefits because you are a squatter. It is illegal for the Bureau of Child Welfare to take your children from you on the grounds that you are a squatter. Besides, plenty of people pay rent to live in apartments that are in terrible condition; these people's children are not taken from them because of these conditions! Persistence and good legal advice will be your best weapons as you try to make sure your rights are being respected and are not being arbitrarily violated. Don't let anyone from the city government or the police department into your building, even if they claim they have a warrant. If they do, they can slip it through the mail slot or under the door so you can read it first. Don't identify yourself or answer any questions through the door. If you do receive a legal notice with your name on it, don't miss the court date unless you've cleared it with your lawyer or an informed housing activist in advance. If the notice doesn't have your name on it or says "Resident" or "John Doe" or something, definitely do not answer it. It most likely shows that the HPD has not yet made a really serious attempt to find out who each and every one of your group is, and that they are trying to get an easy score with the "Anyone living at this address" bullshit. But you should take the notice to a tenants' rights organizer or housing lawyer for advice, and then take it to the clerk of the court's office so that you can put it on record that nobody with those names live at your building. If the people in your building start getting eviction notices, be sure that there is always someone living with you (who has proof of residence) who hasn't been named in a notice. In this way, if it comes down to an eviction, HPD won't be able to seal the building since there will still be someone living there that they can't evict yet. Once the "eviction-minus-one" is over and the cops are gone, you can move back in without problem. If the authorities have served you with notice that the building is going to be evacuated for reasons of public safety, you'll have to come up with a detailed plan that shows how you you are going to repair the problem. You will no doubt need the help of professionals to do this, and you'll their help right away, for you've got only a few days to get a judge to issue a stay of execution order. Call the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) at 718 292-0070 to start. At the first sign of trouble, someone should be using your "Eviction-Watch List" to contact all your friends and supporters, so that as many witnesses are on the scene as possible. This will keep the cops on their toes and "best behavior," that is, slightly less likely to start beating people up. If the cops get through your front door, write down their badge numbers and names, demand to see their identification, etc. etc. Have witnesses to absolutely everything. Videotape, audiotape and photograph whenever possible. You have a legal right to make a record of all that takes place. If the cops ask to speak to your leaders, tell them you don't have any. If they ask "Who is in charge?" or if they ask if you are in charge, tell them "Nobody is in charge." Never admit to having leaders, even if you do, and you will (like it or not). At all times, be firm and reasonable with the cops unless you are ready for a fight. Be forewarned that the police in NYC are always ready for a fight. Organizations (All numbers verified in February 1997) ACORN: Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now 1-877-55ACORN 718-246-7900 fax 718-246-7939 Center for Constitutional Rights 212 614 6464 Church of Saint John the Divine 212 316 7400 Legal Aid 212 577 3300 - 212-577-3346 Metropolitan Council on Housing 212 693 0550 Stanley Cohen, Attorney 212 979 7572 Jackie Bukowski, Attorney beech@ix.netcom Sanitation Department 212 534 5493 White Lung Association 718 389 5546 Riverside Church 212 870 6700 People's Firehouse: Housing and Community Development 718 388 4696 Original Communes In the city or in the country, communes can be a cheap and enjoyable way of living. Although urban and rural communes face different physical environments, they share common group problems. The most important element in communal living is the people, for the commune will only make it if everyone is fairly compatible. A nucleus of 4 to 7 people is best and it is necessary that no member feels extremely hostile to any other member when the commune gets started. The idea that things will work out later is pig swill. More communes have busted up over incompatibility than any other single factor. People of similar interests and political philosophies should live together. One speed freak can wreck almost any group. There are just too many day-to-day hassles involved living in a commune to not start off compatible in as many ways as possible. The ideal arrangement is for the people to have known each other before they move in together. Once you have made the opening moves, evening meetings will occasionally be necessary to divide up the responsibilities and work out the unique problems of a communal family. Basically, there are two areas that have to be pretty well agreed upon if the commune is to survive. People's attitudes toward Politics, Sex, Drugs and Decision-making have to be in fairly close agreement. Then the even most important decisions about raising the rent, cleaning, cooking and maintenance will have to be made. Ground rules for inviting non-members should be worked out before the first time it happens, as this is a common cause for friction. Another increasingly important issue involves defense. Communes have continually been targets of attack by the more Neanderthal elements of the surrounding community. In Minneapolis for example, "headhunts" as they are called are commonplace. You should have full knowledge of the local gun laws and a collective defense should be worked out. Physical attacks are just one way of making war on communes and, hence, our Free Nation. Laws, cops, and courts are there to protect the power and the property of those that already got the shit. Police harassment, strict enforcement of health codes and fire regulations and the specially designed anti-commune laws being passed by town elders, should all be known and understood by the members of a commune before they even buy or rent property. On all these matters, you should seek out experienced members of communes already established in the vicinity you wish to settle. Work out mutual defense arrangements with nearby families-both legal and extralegal. Remember, not only do you have the right to self-defense, but it is your duty to our new Nation to erase the "Easy-Rider-take-any-shit" image which invites attack. Let them know you are willing to defend your way of living and your chances of survival will increase. Finding Communes The Fellowship of Intentional Communities has a quick and easy searchable database seemingly of every freak farm in the country, and many outside. Just click your little browser (I hope you're using Firefox. Nobody uses Microsoft products anymore except slaves and people at the Public Library.) over to the: Fellowship for Intentional Community and spend the day reading about groups of folks who will shortly be instigated into breaking up by Federal Fuck-bags. Try and sign up for one of them before they split up over whether Atlantis or Lemuria was the coolest civilization that never existed. Then steal a tractor. I wouldn't send you into that hotbed of Peace, Love, and Rabies without at least a link to a clue, now. Trust me. You can search for "communes" by State, Country, Population Size, and you can try Dial-A-Nut and find people on the same Religious/Spiritual Path that you are. Also see if they are open to Lesbian, Gay, Transgendered, or Homophobic members. Tobacco, Alcohol, Dietary Practices. Decision Making Style. Is there an Identifiable Leader? Restrictions on Romantic Relationships between members? Da mind boggles, baby! Free Transportation Rainbow Family If you'd like to travel with a group, consider joining up with the Rainbow Family. You might find a caravan by attending your local Gathering and asking around. For more information, try or For travelers and the like an invaluable resource is You can search for couches (sometimes even your own room!) to crash on by city/region and you can work out the number of nights and whatnot individually with each host. It is always free and the host should never ask you for money. You end up meeting a lot of really chill, radical types and you get an in with some locals wherever you are. Just remember, if you ever have a place of your own, try to host other travelers and give back to the community. Outside Links to Resources Join a Carpool - Maybe not totally free, but very resourceful. Find Public Transport. - Search for public transportation by city. Questionably free. Backpacking Resources - This site has TONS of tips on traveling and backpacking. Get a Ride Home... - Get a ticket home if you need one. under 18, you have to returning to a legal guardian, over 18, other arrangements can be made. Travelers Aid International - "Mission: To advance and support a network of human service provider organizations committed to assisting individuals and families who are in transition, or crisis, and are disconnected from their support systems." Not always free, but they can help you out (or direct you to someone who can) if you're ever stranded. Pack your bag Un-Packing for a life on the road If you make the commitment to forsake a regular roof and bed for the freedom of the world, you have to use your head when deciding what to pack. If you carry every mentioned item in this book, you will feel like a pack mule. Tailor your gear to what you plan to do and for how long you will be on the move. Stay light and be prepared to improvise with local resources. Keep your bag loaded with your basic gear and have it ready to go at all times; only take out what you need and return it when you are done. Even if you are staying or squatting with friends, keep your pack within easy reach, unless you have a safe legal locker to stash it in. This advice will prove useful if the pigs come to clear out where you are staying. If you carry expensive stuff, you will be afraid to lose it, and thusly have less fun while traveling. General Delivery So you won't over pack, you can have seasonal clothes, food, or gear sent to a post office as general delivery for you addressed something like this: Dippy Yippie General Delivery Eugene, Or 97123 Clothes Don't pack too much clothing. One or two sets of lightweight, versatile walking clothes and possibly one set of upscale clothes in a big Ziploc to stay clean will get you by in almost all situations. Be aware of the culture of the area and try to fit in. Even sub-culture dress may vary; be sure of the local cop situation and what they look for before letting your freak flag fly too loudly. Your upscale clothes will be like an access card to many locations that punk, or just ratty dress would disallow. Look for clothes that pack small, dry quickly, and don't take stains. Cotton, wool, and, sadly, hemp are often bulky, and cotton dries slowly. Petrochem synthetics, even more sadly, fit these requirements nicely if you can stand them on your body. On the other hand, natural fibers tend to retain odors less, and so will require washing less often. Quality socks in quantity are just as important as good shoes. Only wear them for one day before putting them in the wash bag, and be sure to wash your feet every morning. You can usually borrow a tie if you need one for a more formal outing, but one is small and light. A sarong works as a scarf, towel, skirt and shawl. You never know when you might need one, so bring one or two light ones. Boonie style hats are available both in cotton and synthetic, they protect your eyes and neck better than a baseball cap and the chin string keeps it from blowing away. A packable jacket and fleece vest is also a very good idea even in summer. Hospital scrubs and a tee-shirt make good pajamas, and they can also be worn on the street or if you need to look at home in a hospital. Shoes Your shoes, above all, must be comfortable to walk in over long distances. Never take brand new shoes on the road, as broken-in shoes will put less stress on your feet and toes. Sandals are great if you are not on the move, except at demonstrations where a jackboot or horse-hoof will make mush of your toes. Doc Martens used to be an affordable comfortable shoe/boot, but fashion trends have caused prices to rise and quality has dropped. Mail carrier shoes are made to look dressy but survive daily hours of outdoor walking. Cheap army boots will last for a few months but are heavy, hot, and might slow you down. Discount stores sometimes have surprising quality light hiking boots, work boots, trail runners, or walking shoes. Check out Sandals for some tips on DIY footwear. Pack Like your bicycle, your pack is one of the most personal things you will own. You really don't have to go crazy on a hyper-expensive German pack, but if you skimp out too much on quality, you could end up uncomfortable or face it wearing out quickly. A frame pack will help distribute your load. An external frame is cheaper, but internal frame packs are now the more popular choice and move well with you. A roll of nylon fiber tape like is used to secure packages will make a break-in or breakopen of your pack less likely if you have to check, stow, or throw the bag. It also helps to identify your bag in a luggage collection area. You might also want to carry a second comfortable day pack for short excursions when you can lock up your main pack. See more about packs and wilderness specific gear in Backpacking and Camping Stash a Pack You will have many times that you want to stash you pack but have no idea where to safely hide it. Wearing a backpack pegs you as different and possibly a traveler or drifter, many places will assume you are using your pack to steal, many stores won't even let you enter Try to get the store to hold it in the office or something while you shop, little luggage locks should keep prying employees out of your stuff. Of course the safest place for you pack is on you. If you carry a piece of tubular webbing tied into a circle, a carabineer or pulley and some cord or rope you can use the tree stash. Carefully climb a tree and hang your loop and carabineer, don't forget to stick a bit of cord into the carabineer. Hoist your pack and tie off to a branch. Discretion is of course the rule unless you want your pack stolen, do a walk-around and look for people watching first don't do this in the commons, be in the brush a bit. Tree caching works best with a dull colored pack and cord. Don't talk about using this technique except with your true affinity group lest your new "friends" follow you and clean out your pack. This setup could be made with cheaper hardware so you could abandon it in the tree if you had to move fast, a half inch eye bolt with wood screw tip would hold tight in most trees but leaving a potential damage to the tree. If you have another twelve foot piece of tubular webbing with you tied in a loop you can throw this around the lowest branch to give you that first step into the tree. Pack Lockup There is an expensive product called pack-safe which is really just stainless steel cable crimper joined every 3-4 inches so it looks like tube of cyclone fence mesh and gathered at the bottom and lockable at the top. If you had the time and parts you could make your own, but this will still not stop a determined thief who can still slice and grab what she can, additionally the mesh is heavy to carry around. You could try to cable lock your pack with a cheap bike lock slowing down the grab and run thief. Wrap your pack in ratty blue tarp and lock it next to your bike or near the entrance to the store you are in and it might frighten off the less bold or squeamish thief. Electronics If you like to support the underground economy with stolen electronics, then join the millions of dumb western "flash-packers" who can't live without their Power Book, Ipod, and Iphone while on the road. A better plan is to limit what you can keep in your pockets. Sparkly gadgets are the bait that can get your whole pack stolen by street thieves or corrupt cops who want more toys for themselves. CD's or DVD's are fragile and heavy in large numbers, digitize the content and save on portable hard disk or even better avoid the CorpGov programming from their media entirely. If you look hard most items, even guitars, keyboards, and amps can be found, either in a lightweight form or can be borrowed. Splashed Electronics You are poor and on the move, expect your valuable electronics to go into the water at some point. All is not lost, • • • • snatch your gadget from the water get the batteries out now!! open every door and opening or take it apart shake the water out and dab internals with cloth rinse off with bottled water or fresh water to get the salt out take the gadget apart as far as you safely can get your gadget somewhere warm and breezy if possible. The top of a radiator with a fan blowing is great, behind a refrigerator where the warm air blows is good too. If you dropped in salt water you are probably out of luck, but still as quickly as possibly • • • If you can find electronic cleaning 'air in a can' blast the inside of the gadget to blow the water out your gadget, it will help a lot, be careful using a regular air hose these sometimes have water or oil in them. Let dry for 24 to 48 hours inspecting for dampness blowing or dabbing what you can get at, if there is none evident after that time period try powering up the gadget, good luck. We hesitate to mention the oven dry method because too many people freaked out over ruining their gadget get excited and mess it up, they end up with plastic slag dripping in the oven, we have inserted an oven temperature verification to help you boneheads out. • • • • • • • • • Remove battery and open all other covers shake out as much liquid as possible Rinse gadget with bottled water if necessary to wash out liquids other than fresh water Preheat the oven or toaster oven and a plate to 120 F or 55C for 15 minutes Remove all knobs so nobody can adjust the heat Put a big sign on the oven explaining what you are doing, and what you will do to anyone who melts your gadget After 15 minutes carefully feel the plate, does it burn or just feel hot Let dry in the oven of an hour If you melt the gadget don't call us! PDA A nice electronic convergence device is an old used PDA that has a WiFi card for web browsing, and can act as a MP3 player. These two uses are the main uses of electronics for travelers. A large capacity SD/MMC or Compact Flash card will give you room for lots of tunes. We like the SD-toCF card adapters for using a SD/USB combo card for large file storage and a small USB drive. Sticker and tape the PDA up so nobody will want to steal it. Many free programs are out like ebook readers or translators for travelers. Some PDA's have a battery booster available which charge from four AA cells. USB Key/Disc A traveler often still wants his or her programs, or even his or her whole OS. We describe in Computers#USB Key how to load and use a USB key for booting a M$ Windows machine to Linux as well as bringing your favorite apps along. The basic USB key is a low cost and low theft way to have your data available when you have a chance to get on line. There are several ways to maximize the potential of a USB stick. A SD/USB card that interfaces with both your SD card camera or PDA and turned around plugs into a USB port. Many hard disc music players work as a storage device, as do some PDA's when the USB cable is attached. Smaller MP3 players are sometimes also a USB memory stick. Internet Communications lists some nifty web-browsing programs that can run directly off of your USB Flash drive. Mobile Phone A mobile phone may be a "flashpacker's" voice, text, and Internet connection, but it is also the leash that constantly updates CorpGov to your exact location within a few meters and takes money from you at the same time. Even a phone without GPS can be tracked by most wireless carriers. A prepaid SIM card gives minimal anonymity for a few days but this is really a false sense of security. Maybe you should dump the phone on the counter on the way out into the real world. If you still need to carry a leash around your neck look for a phone that you can connect to your computer or PDA with a cable or something wireless like infrared or Bluetooth. You still may have a desire to communicate after you ditch the phone, see Communication for some alternatives. E-book reader We love real books they are not just something real to read but in an emergency you can wipe or start a fire with one. If e-paper is the miracle it is promised we will soon have a cheap way to schlep many e-books on a single sheet of flexible plastic with a little controller/battery pack somewhere that lasts months on a charge. This might save a few trees and let us carry a whole bookshelf in our pack rolled up in a small protective tube. Wake Up A digital countdown timer from a kitchen store will let you grab both quick naps or a full night of sleep without worry of oversleeping; set it according to your watch. Your cell phone alarm clock can now be turned off for privacy, to save batteries, or allow you to leave it at home. Camera Flashpacker alert!! Nothing screams rich tourist so much as a fancy camera. If you are in love with photography or are a indy photojournalist taking away your camera would be like stripping your bike or slashing your pack. Give consideration to protection of the camera from both notice and physical damage. If you are less of a pro think about a more "toy" type camera or something a few years old from an auction. Be sure you have spare batteries, charger, and card reader, and extra storage media. It is useful to burn and mail CD's with your pics every few weeks or when you capture a major story. Disposable cameras are still available in 2007 if you don't need to take too many photos. Never let a cop take your camera, but don't et shot over it. Music If you can't live without music, follow these tips. However, the more you open yourself up to the local culture on your travels, the more enjoyable and rewarding your trip will become. Remember that MP3 players take batteries— an expensive and hard-to-recycle commodity, but we hear the maker of the wind-up radio is coming out with a wind up MP3/video player soon. One way to go is to carry a small instrument and make your own music to share (see Making Music) as opposed to being antisocial and listen to MP3's or the radio all of the time. If you like to stay informed, a small hand-crank or solar powered radio can be useful for not only weather reports and news breaks, but also for listening to NPR. NPR is a great radio resource that offers good, eclectic music, international news, and comedy shows. Even though some say it is white liberal biased, it at least treats you, the listener, as an intelligent person They also offer live broadcasts of the BBC World News on a near-nightly basis. Most foreign countries have state-run radio stations which offer something similar. You will also be able to use your radio to pick up pirate stations and college channels. See Radio. A small, cheap MP3 player is a good choice if your choose the MP3 route. Use rechargeable batteries if possible and try the recharging ideas in Low Impact Crashing or carry a small recharger. An external speaker can either share your tunes or pollute the room with constant noise, so be nice and think of your mates before playing your music out loud. Wilderness Gear, and Urban Crash Gear see also Low_Impact_Crashing and Backpacking and Camping. Washing and Drying Clothes No bucket? Throw soap, clothes, and water into a plastic sack and swish around. Remember to rinse completely or you'll have soap residue on everything. Even better than a bucket is if you have access to a sink or bathtub, carry a universal flat drain plug, it is good for almost all drains. Find a good concentrated soap good for clothing and human use, plain bar soap fits the bill. An excellent dry line is a long narrow bungee-type cord; the hooks work on door and window frames, curtain rods, and hooks you place into the wall, some purpose made dry lines even have wire clothespins made around the bungee cord. Washing Up Towel In the cleaning section of grocery and hardware stores you will likely see synthetic or microfiber cleanup towels. The larger ones make great cheap towels which pack light and dry quickly, this is the same thing as expensive backpacker pack towels. Nail Clipper For we who move on our feet more often than drive or ride need our transportation in top shape. Clipping our toe nails regularly prevents infection from ingrown nails as well as lengthening the life of our socks and shoes. Always clip straight across with scissors or clippers and leave the corners of the toe nail sticking out, trimming off these corners lets the skin around the nails grow in and when the nail grows it will cut or rub this flesh leaving you open to infection. Warm Water Warm up your bath water with your stinger in a bucket or plastic sack inside a nylon stuff sack, for small volumes be careful not to overheat the water, or you can also use your camp stove to boil water to heat up a bucket of cold water. Wash up with your damp washcloth or sponge to save water. If rinsing is not an option because of limited water or drainage rub on a few drops of baby shampoo in your armpits and groin then wash away as you wash the rest of your body with your washcloth. If you are really cold soaking your feet in warm water is a delight, pull out and dry off before the water gets too cold or spills. Sleeping A twin sheet folded and sewn on the bottom makes a cheap hostel sheet, this is good if you must crash on a gross couch or mattress in summer or if you are staying at a hostel that charges for sheets, if you are cold use your sleeping bag as your blanket. Your hostel sheet is much easier to wash and dry than your sleeping bag so use it as a liner to keep your bag clean. Of course your wilderness sleeping bag is what you will spend the night in the most, often with your camping pad underneath if there is not an extra bed. Regularly check for bedbugs in your sleeping bag and sheet especially if you stay at hostels or cheap hotels. Stuff some clothes into a pants leg or stuff sack for a pillow. Light A small LED headlight covers almost everything a person needs light for out to about 4 meters, a good idea is to wear the headband around your neck until needed, leave your light easy to get to in the top of you pack. Since LED gadgets are cheap and run forever on a battery why not pack a few of these gadgets. If the room you are in has no electrical or natural light many camping and mart stores sell a cheap four cell AA powered fluorescent and incandescent combo pocket flashlight. The light bulb can be replaced with a LED making a long lasting night light with the fluorescent tube for when you general coverage. When the power goes out you can never have too many light sources, glow tape or tritium markers will help you find your lights or gear in the dark. Hair Dryer A hair dryer can be your best friend in cold, rainy, and/or unheated locations where power is available. Go for a travel dryer designed to switch from 110V to 220V, and choose something high quality, portable, quiet, and maybe fordable. Just be sure it is small, or else you would be better carrying a small heater, which is usually much quieter, although both often put out the same amount of heat. Use your dryer to: • • • • • • Dry clothes, socks, and shoes (be careful not to melt synthetics or the glue holding shoes together) Warm up your sleeping bag, or dry it out Heat up a small room or tent (find a dryer that can stay on for at least a half hour) Removing adhesive stickers and signs Make cars slow down (pretend it's a radar gun) Thaw a car window or preheat the interior without wasting fuel If no small room is available and you are in a warehouse or outside but with access to electricity, pop your tent, tarp tepee, or cardboard box up right there and you have a much smaller space to heat. Clean the lint and dust out of the screen on the back so your dryer won't overheat. Never run the hair dryer if you are very sleepy or going out; these things can lock up and overheat even though there is supposed to be a thermostat safety shutoff circuit and a circuit breaker you must be on guard for fire. Like with all electrical stuff, water or wet concrete is big danger. Food For packable food, see Backpacking and Camping, Food and Cheap Chow for some easy on the road improvised recipes. It is important to have enough filling ready to eat food and a liter or two of drinking water since you never know how long you might be stuck out somewhere when forced to run, hitching, riding, waiting, or arriving late at night. It might be smart to keep a seperate hangable bag so the smell of food stays out of your pack as this might attract pests and rodents. Immersion Boiler A stinger or immersion boiler is useful for boiling water for cooking, are cheap, and are super light to carry. see Cheap Chow for stinger specific recipes. You can also heat larger containers of water to warm for bathing or washing. A commercial coil stinger is usually so cheap and light that getting and carrying a spare or two only makes sense, especially considering that they burn out after a while. The coil stinger you buy in stores will burn out if the water boils away or it falls out so it won't start a fire, if you make a prison stinger from a power cord with tips stripped of insulation and dipped in salted or hard water, don't let the ends touch or you will blow the breakers, oh and if you knock the prison stinger and soup over it can electrocute you!!. Cheese/Vegetable Grater A very small grater, about two by six inches, will add very little weight but can be very useful for shredding food, which greatly reduces cooking time in soups, and for shredding and grinding soft and hard cheeses. You can also turn bar soap into washing soap, just shred a pile of soap and dump it in a bucket of warm water to wash your clothes if you are out of laundry detergent. Fun and Games Fun things that pack well and spend downtime without wasting your brain or batteries include: • Playing cards or card based games (games like Magic that can collect huge decks might end up too heavy) Magnetic wallet board games (chess, checkers, backgammon, etc.) Question cards from Trivial Pursuit Dice for D&D type role-playing games or other dice games (like Yahtzee) CD's or small discs (vinyl singles, etc.) to use for Frisbee (those free AOL CD's work well) Hacky Sack/Footbag Small musical Instruments, see Making Music Journal for composition or sketches Kite Paperback of short stories (better than novel for when you are waiting, just finish the short story you are on and go) A knife for whittling A big permanent marker or paint pen for hitchhiking or panhandling signs, hobo marks Wall Painting, tagging with intelligent quotes, or philosophical quandaries Paper-back, digital scanned, or photo-copied text books or printed-off school resource pages and/or texts on a portable disk drive to keep up on your education Foreign language dictionary to study up on learning a new language Book of Sudoku or crosswords Seeds to plant in public places Those Chinese Juggling sticks are pretty fun. You can also get really good at them and perform for tips. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Money Some cash hidden in your stuff is not a bad idea for emergencies. Credit cards provide a perfect trace of where you have been at every point of use. However, they do provide the best exchange rates during international travel. One guy we know sews a gold coin hidden into his pants. Once, in Africa, he got dumped in the wrong town without his bags across a border. His pocket money was no good there, but he ordered a taxi out, some meals, and several nights stay by selling the emergency coin. Don't be afraid to offer your services in exchange for cash or trade, just like the old Hoe-Boy hobos. Just don't get taken as a chump: demand a decent wage for your mental or physical labor. A better plan is to use the underground economy! Just barter, bum, and/or buddy your way along. Once people realize that you are living the dream on no budget, they will support you just to imagine themselves as part of your story. You will build your resourcefulness and wit by freeing your mind from the CorpGov Spend! Spend! Dollars!! program. Tools A pliers multi-tool and folding bicycle multi-tool are standard stuff in our packs but if we want to take up recycling junk into tradeable objects you might need some of the following. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • reamer a few drill bits in useful sizes (extras in small diameters) T-handle chuck for reamer, taps, and even drill bits medium and small files several standard size thread taps and dies to mach your drill bits propane torch head aluminum low temp solder narrow gauge steel welding rods adjustable wrench universal socket and mini ratchet assorted screws bolts and washers to fit your taps micrometer electrical multi-tester chisels small milling burrs rechargeable drill or hand drill butane soldering iron and desoldering tool hack saw These tools and more like it would be good for earning your keep on extended couch crashes. We bet you could get creative and using tips from Means of Production and these universal tools even do some small scale machine shop type work, all you needed is some junk pile recycling skills. Most of this kit will be a bit heavy for a strict backpacker but it should work well for those who use a bicycle trailer. Gifts Depending on the nature of your walkabout, like if you are couch surfing, it might be a good idea to bring along cheap lightweight gifts, like pictures of (yourself near) an interesting place near your home with your e-mail address on back. Chachkies from a tourist stop near your home, local sport team cards, stamps, state quarters, and whatever else can work, too. Just don't go overboard on price, as it is supposed to be a token gift for them to remember you, not an endowment. Luxury Item In a world that treats us like dirt it might be helpful to carry a small token luxury item to bring out every now and then to feel a little posh when they are down, especially if you feel you were forced out and did not choose this life from the start. We advise against taking priceless heirlooms or mementos which you are able to stash someplace safe, we loose or break our gear all to often for that. For example a small crystal figurine stuffed between clothing and gear might survive for a long time if you are careful. A small stuffed animal or piece fancy jewelery might also be good ways to make yourself feel good. Save your luxury item for special occasions and treat yourself. Drugs Nothing makes a cop's job easier than a possession rap against a protester or squatter with used resin coated drug paraphernalia like a pipe. These can easily be found in a legal pat-down weapon search. If you must use drugs while traveling or living on the road, make something disposable or borrow instead. If you have a legal prescription for any type of ADD, anti-depressant, or pain medications, keep a photocopy in your bag with the meds. It might help in some states if you have a medical pot card with you if in possession, even one from out of state. However, if you plan on being involved in protests or other risky adventures, it's usually a good idea to keep your mind and body free from any possible chemical hindrances. Never, EVER try to cross international boarders with drugs, especially if you go through a standard boarder gate. A loner traveling with no contact to family or friends is an easy candidate for retention and confinement for indefinite periods of time. Be sure to hot detergent wash your clothes and hang dry them for a day or two outside before a border crossing or airplane trip to reduce any drug smell which might alert drug dogs. Phone Cards A story of a guy that gives his daughters phone cards to make long distance and international calls from regular and pay phones: He may not hear from them for weeks but he is able to see everywhere they travel and who they are calling by checking his account on the Internet. Can Big Bro' do the same? Of course. Disposable cards sold in many convenience stores are less traceable but cost more per minute. See Free Telephones where we describe a pocket size modified telephone and calling cards. Weapons This is a real judgment call, the sexist truth is that cops may give women a bigger pass as far as carrying a weapon in Amerika but don't count on it especially with guns. Women realize that you are more likely to be victimized so you have more reason to carry. If The-Man wants you put away, a weapon charge can be an easy way to throw you into the clink for a few years. Use some common sense but remember that it is better to be tried by twelve (jury) than carried by six (in a coffin). Be mindful that some states recognize other gun carry licenses. An unloaded, trigger locked, or partly disassembled weapon, while useless to you, might keep you out of legal trouble in some places while on the move but don't be surprised if officer friendly keeps the piece. Never pack a weapon if you have illegal substances on you or with your group. see Gun Laws and Piece Now Pets Pets can make getting a ride an finding a place to stay more difficult. On the other hand they are a source of friendship, comfort, and healing, especially to those who have been traumatized. The street kids we know would never let Spike or Cerberus go. Tailor your travels to match your pet, or tailor your pet choices to meet your travel needs. Fido can always carry his own gear, so make him a saddle-bag-type pack for food and water. Again, pets are not the best choice if your goal is traveling light. Few straight motorists are going to pick up a hippie with a huge dog wearing a bandanna. For pets once you've found a place to crash, see Pets. Bicycle Some of us won't leave home without a bicycle and can be seen all over the world with a big pack and little folding bike or even a recumbent touring cycle. It is possible to hitch while making a bike trip, but it is more difficult to find a ride, since your hitch needs either a pickup truck or have an empty bike rack. Most commercial transportation will either forbid a standard bicycle or charge up to a double fare. Remember that carrying a bike is a trade off towards self mobility versus the delights of traveling light and hitching. If you are not too personal about your bike, try to call ahead and arrange a bike from friends, a listserve, or We mention lots of options in Cycling. Remember the spares and tools that you will need if you bring a bicycle, at a minimum a minipump, patch kit with levers, and a folding bicycle multitool, but an extra innertube or two is smart, these tools are useful for more than just bicycle repair. Quick Packing List We trust you to choose what you need or don't need from this list everything would be quite a load and some is inappropriate at times. It is merely a quick reminder list: • • • • • • • • Food prep- camp stove or pocket immersion boiler and large cup, bowl, or small pot, eating utensils, chopsticks, coffee or tea stuff, ready to eat food and water Wash- flat drain stopper, bungee cord line, small scrub brush, stain treatment, and wash soap/detergent Shower- pack towel, wash cloth or sponge, liquid soap with neck strap, flip-flop sandals with add-on heel straps, universal faucet shower kit, bucket and cup/dipper Clothes- packable jacket, lightweight clothes, walking/outdoor shoes, swimsuit Repair kit- quality multi-tool, heavy nylon carpet thread, needles, buttons, hot glue stick, lighter, sport or duct tape on a pencil, zip-ties, concrete drill bit on a handle, wall inserts and screw hooks, or eyebolts Sleep- sleeping mask, earplugs, neck pillow, countdown timer or alarm clock, hostel sheet, shorts or scrub bottoms and t-shirt, ground pad, sleeping bag Contact- phone cards, change for pay phones in rolls, a pad of paper for numbers to call collect, USB memory stick, list or map of Library/Coffee shop Internet, WiFi PDA, small shortwave or ham radio set, walkie-talkie, prepaid mobile phone or SIM card, laptop, modem card, WiFi detector, personal business cards Personal Hygiene- fingernail clippers, first aid kit, baking soda, vinegar, Hair removal/trimming tools, baby wipes, toothbrush, toilet paper, love lube, safe sex stuff, period stuff (tampons, pads, moon cup, or re-washable pad) Wilderness Gear- see Backpacking and Camping and Skiing and Boarding First Aid- moleskin foot dressings, plasters(bandages), tooth kit, gauze pads, roller gauze, triple antibiotic ointment, tape, scissors, tweezers, (also pain, motion sickness, allergy, indigestion, and diarrhea treatments) Other- Lightweight flashlight/torch or headlamp, emergency hidden cash, music(radio, MP3, harmonica, etc), batteries and charger, journal, pocket paperback or electronic foreign dictionaries or a printout of International_Communications, small gifts, seat pad, folding stool, LED book light, hair dryer Entertainment- Cards, paperback book, hacky-sack, games, notebook/journal Special- bicycle spares (pump, combination allen-chain-spoke-screw tool, patches and levers, tubes), repair and craft tools, ski or board gear, etc. • • • • • Hitchhiking Free maps Most states offer free maps which you can either order from the official state website, the state tourism website, or from welcome/info/tourist buildings as you enter the state. Always have a highway map and good compass so you can keep yourself on the right road and headed in the right direction. The most important things to remember about hitchhiking are • • • • Travel light. Be neat, clean, and polite. Always try to look like someone you'd want to pick up. Make a large sign with your destination, don't forget your markers Truckers Your best bet is to ask around at a truck stop, many truckers like to have a rider to talk to. Women should watch out at truck stops since these places are also frequent workplaces for prostitutes or lot lizards in CB lingo, partnering up is a good idea in this sexist world. Even if a trucker is not interested in giving a ride ask if he will CB for someone heading your way. Talk to your ride first and especially at a truck stop and make sure they are cool, there is no reason to ride with a creep. If you were not carrying enough already a CB handheld radio can be used as a long range hitching thumb, call out to truckers in truckstops or even on the highway, talk directly to trucks you see by color and description, wave and ask them for a ride. Of course when roadside hitching a big sign always helps, be sure you are on the side of the highway heading where you want to go. Never put you bag in the back, snuggle it to yourself so you will have it if you decide to bail out. Links • • • - arrange a ride share - lots of (modern) hitchhiking info, discussions, etc. - Great site with a lot of information all about hitchhiking (English and German language) - Worldmap showing hitching places. - Database with hitchhing places Abgefahren e.V. - the first german Autostop Society; ideas, tips, projects,.. • • • • What follows is the original text HITCH-HIKING Certainly one of the neatest ways of getting where you want to go for nothing is to hitch. In the city it's a real snap. Just position yourself at a busy intersection and ask the drivers for a lift when they stop for the red light. If you're hitching on a road where the traffic zooms by pretty fast, be sure to stand where the car will have room to safely pull off the road. Traveling long distances, even crosscountry, can be easy if you have some sense of what you are doing. A lone hitch-hiker will do much better than two or more. A man and woman will do very well together. Single women are certain to get propositioned and possibly worse. Amerikan males have endless sexual fantasies about picking up a poor lonesome damsel in distress. Unless your karate and head are in top form, women should avoid hitching alone. Telling men you have V.D. might help in difficult situations. New England and the entire West Coast are the best sections for easy hitches. The South and Midwest can sometimes be a real hassle. Easy Rider and all that. The best season to hitch is in the summer. Daytime is much better than night. If you have to hitch at night, get under some type of illumination where you'll be seen. Hitch-hiking is legal in most states, but remember you always can get a "say-so" bust. A "say-so" arrest is to police what Catch-22 is to the Army. When you ask why you're under arrest, the pig answers, "cause I say-so." If you stand on the shoulder of the road, the pigs won't give you too bad a time. If you've got long hair, cops will often stop to play games. You can wear a hat with your hair tucked under to avoid hassles. However this might hurt your ability to get rides, since many straights will pick up hippies out of curiosity who would not pick up a straight scruffy looking kid. Freak drivers usually only pick up other freaks. Once in a while you hear stories of fines levied or even a few arrests for hitching (Flagstaff, Arizona is notorious), but even in the states where it is illegal, the law is rarely enforced. If you're stopped by the pigs, play dumb and they'll just tell you to move along. You can wait until they leave and then let your thumb hang out again. Hitchin on super highways is really far out. It's illegal but you won't get hassled if you hitch at the entrances. On a fucked-up exit, take your chances hitching right on the road, but keep a sharp eye out for porkers. When you get a ride be discriminating. Find out where the driver is headed. If you are at a good spot, don't take a ride under a hundred miles that won't end up in a location just as good. When the driver is headed to an out-of-the-way place, ask him to let you off where you can get the best rides. If he's going to a particularly small town, ask him to drive you to the other side of thy town line. It's usually only a mile or two. Small towns often enforce all sorts of "say-so" ordinances. If you get stuck on the wrong side of town, it would be wise to even hoof it through the place. Getting to a point on the road where the cars are inter-city rather than local traffic is always preferable. When you hit the road you should have a good idea of how to get where you are going. You can pick up a free map (not free anymore. bummer...) at any gas station. Long distance routes, road conditions, weather and all sorts of information can be gotten free by calling the American Automobile Association in any city. Say that you are a member driving to Phoenix, Arizona or wherever your destination is, and find out what you want to know. Always carry a sign indicating where you are going. If you get stranded on the road without one, ask in a diner or gas station for a piece of cardboard and a magic marker. Make the letters bold and fill them in so they can be seen by drivers from a distance. If your destination is a small town, the sign should indicate the state. For really long distances, EAST or WEST is best. Unless, of course, you're going north or south. A phony foreign flag sewed on your pack also helps. Carrying dope is not advisable, and although searching you is illegal, few pigs can read the Constitution. If you are carrying when the patrol car pulls up, tell them you are Kanadian and hitching through Amerika. Highway patrols are very uptight about promoting incidents with foreigners. The foreign bit goes over especially well with small-town types, and is also amazingly good for avoiding hassles with greasers. If you can't hack this one, tell them you are a reporter for a newspaper writing a feature story on hitching around the country. This story has averted many a bust. Don't be shy when you hitch. Go into diners and gas stations and ask people if they're heading East or to Texas. Sometimes gas station attendants will help. When in the car be friendly as hell. Offer to share the driving if you've got a license. If you're broke, you can usually bum a meal or a few bucks, maybe even a free night's lodging. Never be intimidated into giving money for a ride. As for what to carry when hitching, the advice is to travel light. The rule is to make up a pack of the absolute minimum, then cut that in half. Hitching is an art form as is all survival. Master it and you'll travel on a free trip forever. Cycling The bicycle is the most popular vehicle in the world, and for good reason: bicycles are beautiful things. They are cheap, reliable, faster and easier than walking (and driving in the city), and downright sexy. They can take you almost anywhere, they don't rely on fuel, a license or insurance, a most liberating way to get around these days. Getting a Bike Always acquire your cycle through honest means, a less than affluent person can be greatly damaged by stealing or stripping their cycle. Don't assume that a nice bike belongs to the CorpGov rich and is thus free to steal, many of us put every penny and a bit of our heart and soul into making one of our few material treasures into a work of fast functional art. Find a bike of quality good enough to not require constant replacement of parts. If the quality is too low you will likely learn to hate cycling and stay a petrol hog. Never buy junk from department stores that rely on crude slave labor: these are designed as gifts to kids who will likely ride them for a few weeks, these garage rusters tend to be good for only about 500km and maintenance is almost impossible. When buying, stick to a friendly local bicycle shoppe or, even better, a local bike co-op who will sell you a tuned and sized bicycle designed for long service life. In the USA, quality barely used bikes are discarded to "thrift" shoppes which may sell for as little as $10. Garage sales are also a good source of cheap bikes, beware the used department store type cycles unless you need a disposable with poor performance. A proper 1970's vintage quality bicycle and a little tuning is a much better choice for your money than a brand new discount-mart special. Watch out for dents in the frame of the bike, this is a sign that the bike has been crashed, and may be hazardous to ride especially if it is of aluminum or exotic construction. Also look out for hairline cracks in the paint, especially near the tubing joints. These can be an early warning of frame damage. A good way to get a bike is to put up ads on bulletin boards. Something like "looking for reasonable bicycle for reasonable price" is good. This only works if you (or your buddy) has a phone or email. Get your local bike shoppe to check out a bike you are about to buy and estimate repairs and tune up. Yellow-White Bicycle Programs Find out if cities you are traveling to offer a Yellow Bicycle Program. Furthermore, if you find yourself a new local in a larger city, think about aiding those following your traveling example and start up a Yellow Bike Program in your new town. To do this, you can either approach city official yourself with the idea, or simply start it up without them. You'll need some cheap yet solid bikes, and some yellow paint. You can draw up a small map of suggested pick-up and drop-off points in town for the bikes, like public/school/park/downtown bike racks, fences by vacant lots, etc. Tagging some of these places with a minimal yellow stencil design can help, too. Encourage friends to look out for the welfare of the bikes if they see them tossed or crashed-up, either reporting to you are fixing them themselves. You can also attach a little sticker or tag to every bike before you put it out explaining the ideals behind your program to prevent wanton theft or destruction, and also encourage visitors to follow your example. A good idea is to paint every part of the bike even pedals and tires to reduce theft, resale, and stripping value, be sure to mask areas able to be damaged by paint. Single speed coaster brake bikes have the lowest moving part count and the highest resistance to abuse, unless you are in a very hilly city this is the best type for a yellow bikes program. If possible include some sort of front baskets, folding wire pannier baskets, and such to allow shopping trips. If the program results in many lost bikes you may have to consider moving to a free membership program, order dozens of locks with the same key and require a library card to join the club and receive a key, this will slow down random vandals and thieves but will also stop the short term traveler from a service they need most. Kinds of Bikes Upright The least expensive and easiest to obtain new and used is the regular upright bicycle. Road bikes are equipped for speedy travel and have multi-position hand grips and razor thin tires for cruising along paved highways. Mountain Bikes come in several stages of impact and mud resistance but the shocks and knobby tires are adapted to off road travel and you will waste a good percentage of your pedaling effort if using a mountain bike as an urban commuter. Hybrids or urban commuter bikes take the ruggedness of a mountain bike to absorb potholes and curb drops and add the road capable tires and sometimes the multi-position handgrips for long trips. Touring bikes can also take some of the attributes of both mountain and road bikes usually with emphasis on long riding but with stronger components and mounting points for pannier bags. Cargo Bikes Cargo bikes can take many forms but they are usually based on some sort of a tricycle. Many of these are custom shop build jobs with either the front or back half of an inexpensive conventional bicycle removed and a large cargo area added. For front cargo the front wheel and forks are removed and a tubular frame is welded on, the front wheels are mounted on the sides of the cargo area and pivot on their mounts, a cross tube/handlebar attached to these pivots is pushed left or right to steer, these bikes have a very limited turn radius and are best for use in an area with few hills, but can be made with quite a large cargo capacity. A traditional tricycle design requires a bit more mechanical skill since a drive axle with a chain sprocket must be installed, the available cargo area is limited by the width of the axle, these are also available from specialty bike shops. There are frame attachments which make for a long tail bike allowing very large panniers or several buckets or coolers to be attached to this extension, the upside is that it is possible to quickly convert back to a normal bike with a trip to the bike shop but these extensions appear to put stress on the rear of the bicycle frame. Recumbent While still almost universally expensive even when purchased used; if long haul travel is in your plans the recumbent is definitely worth looking into. Imagine reclining in a nice lawn chair and pushing out to the pedals instead of crouching over your handlebars, this is the position of a recumbent rider. You will be able to put much more of your leg power to work pedaling your clipped-in feet sitting recumbent than you ever did on an upright. Another bonus to recumbent is the ease at which battery powered and regenerative drive systems can be added due to the multiple drive chains. We have even seen stirling steam and gas booster motors added although this takes from the whole green purist idea. The only major downer with recumbent is that they are low to the ground so the rider is at bumper level and you are unable to stand up on the pedals to gruff your way up impossible climbs. Hybrid Power Blurring the borders of bicycle, motorcycle, and car; vehicles like the Twike and other custom lightweight hybrid vehicles let two or more riders travel in style. Riders are inside an enclosed and stylishly interiored vehicle, a battery and motor system give a big power boost to uphill pedaling and recover energy from downhill braking back into the battery. On a sick day plug in and charge your battery for a free ride. We expect you enterprising types to get out your welding, electrical, and plastic forming gear and design more vehicles like this to take back our streets and clean air. Protection Helmets Most people feel that a helmet is a necessity for riding. Though cycling is a generally safe activity, the most likely cause of fatalities and debilitating brain injury in bicycling accidents is head impact, and helmets will reduce the possibility of this by 88% or stated another way making you brain nine times safer. Helmets can be purchased (in the US) just about anywhere bikes are sold. Make sure you get the helmet adjusted correctly; it needs to fit well on your head to be the most effective. Helmets are only good for one crash: if you hit your head with your helmet on, you will need to replace the helmet. For this reason, it's probably not a good idea to buy a used helmet. One of our editors was in a serious accident where she was struck by a car, the helmet cracked badly but protected her skull that would surely have been broken damaging her vision centers and blinding if not killing her, as it is she has a limited field of vision in one eye now. The helmet made the difference between collecting thousands of dollars and collecting a hole in the ground. Gloves It's a wise idea to wear gloves to protect your palms in case of a fall. Grazed palms may not be life threatening, but they will impact every facet of your daily life until they heal. Gloves also ease the stress from a long ride. Toe Clips and Clip Shoes Anything you can do to keep your foot centered on the pedal will give you more power, toe clips also extend the length of your potential power stroke to allow a little bit of upward stroke. Clip shoes just amplify the benefits of toe clips giving a very firm lock to your pedals, clip shoes also do not wear out the sole when you are using them to pedal. The downside is small once you get used to these types of pedals but you might fall down getting used to having your feet stuck down, getting out of both clips and shoe pedals requires a twist motion that will become very natural after a few days of use. Clip shoes have another downside in that the metal plate doesn't grip cement like rubber when you are on foot. Lighting If you are going to be riding at night, it is very important that you work to make yourself visible. Reflectors, reflective tape, and lights are all helpful. For starters, a good, flashing LED taillight will help car drivers see you when they approach from behind. You can get one for about two bucks that will run a long time on a set of batteries zip-tie on or spend more for a proper mount. HID Lamp HID Super Bright xenon gas discharge lighting is the envy of many serious cyclists but the $400 price tag puts most of us off. It is possible to make a HID light set on a moderate budget. Auto shops and auction sites will occasionally pull good singles of a blown out HID headlight pair, we have seen them for as little as $30. These are relatively small and light, only draw about 3 amps at 12 volts, and have everything you need except batteries a reflector and mountings. A reflector can be made form a glass halogen track light with a reflector large enough to fit the xenon bulb, be sure there is a glass front lens, saw off the bulb end with a dremel tool and epoxy in the new bulb. New matched lithium batteries like the kind in a laptop will be perfect to power this high power lamp, batteries and ballast pack should fit inside a cut open water bottle. The HID light is also the type used by pro videographers, mounted to their camcorder, or for lighting large areas at night like for plays, but for a much lower price. Sound Signals Invest in a loud horn or whistle, there are several pumpable marine horns or the Zound pumpable bike horn, Survival or sport whistles are better if you need to signal constantly in an urban area. In highly populated urban areas, barking at jaywalking pedestrians works a treat. Most people freeze when they hear a dog bark up close, giving you the time to take evasive action. Plus it's free! Carrying things You can increase the usefulness of your bike by making it easier for you to carry loads with it. Racks, front and back, can be added. You can get bags (called 'panniers') which attach to the sides of the racks; these will allow you to carry a lot of stuff without encumbering your hands, allowing you to ride safer. For day to day use a small backpack or fanny pack will do. Baskets Baskets are also effective for carrying stuff. You can get baskets that attach to the front or back of the bike. Milk carton crates make good tough baskets when cable tied to your handlebars or tail rack. Trailers For carrying larger stuff (like children and furniture), you might want to consider a trailer. These can be expensive, but you can also make one yourself. A trailer can be pieced together with plastic piping or electrical conduit, a pair of spare wheels, and a basket or plastic tote. For a trailer hitch, go to your local hardware store and get a quick-release garden hose or air hose connection and a bit of hose. Rig up the connections to be used as a trailer hitch. For added safety, paint the trailer a bright color and put LOTS of reflective tape and a small red flashing light on the back. One company in Eugene Oregon makes a hard shell suitcase for folding bicycles that when unloaded and wheels are attached becomes a bicycle trailer. An extra wide two wheel standup shopping cart of the type used by retirees to take their groceries home is perfect for the cycle commuter. An extra handle is clamped or welded to the frame, this handle will end in a pneumatic hose fitting, the counterpart will be mounted to the frame of your bicycle for trailering. It will extend the life of your wheels to add greased brass or copper tube bushings to the plastic wheels or ball bearings. When you get to the store lock up your bike, unsnap your cart and take it in for shopping. When you get home your trailer/cart comes inside with you, easier than car shopping! Bucket Panniers You can also make large panniers from square food buckets and attaching hooks to grab your tail rack, properly caulked these will survive even the worst rain storms dry. Cargo Mule The Viet Cong made using a bicycle for cargo transport famous by traversing the Ho Chi Minh trail transporting their war supplies south at times almost exclusively with heavy laden bicycles. Your bicycle becomes a push wagon and you have to walk. Try to balance the load as best as possible since it will be difficult if a very heavily laden bicycle were to fall over. Watch for bags or containers that might rub against your tires or spokes destroying your wheel and cargo.. Several hundred pounds could potentially be carried, nearly every adult bicycle is designed at a minimum to support over three hundred pounds of human rider. Attach a pole tightly across the handle bars to help steer, keep the brake handles reachable if you are in hilly terrain. Two pushers are better than one for balance. With loads over two hundred pounds be careful when using a bicycle with shock absorbers so they don't overload, be sure to have the tires at full inflation to prevent damage, and that the spokes are tight and aligned. Anti-Theft A good lock is a wise investment if you can afford it. A 3 feet long hardened steel chain and high security lock gives you many options when securing your bike, and they're a lot more affordable than a D lock, wear it across your chest or in a pannier or basket. A D lock should be run through the frame and high security cable through the wheels for good general security. Remember your D lock and to a lesser extent security chain is a self defense weapon if you are under attack. Taking corporate logos from a new cycle and adding stickers and tape will quickly make it look used and reduce the perceived value and risk of theft. One method people have used is to "uglify" the bicycle by painting it a hideous color combination (such as mismatched florescent colors) with added flecks or using a simulated rust finish available in craft stores. If the thief thinks your bike isn't worth stealing, he probably won't steal it and instead make his way to the Shimano further down the rack. Replacing the bolts on your seat with Torx head bolts will show down, or even deter, a would-be thief. Grinding off the logos from the gears; a worn, fugly looking seat; mismatched pedals, tires and handlebar grips; all of these can make your bike look like an ugly duckling while keeping it riding like a swan. Remember, don't think "art bike" here, think "camouflage". Don't leave all of your lights, pumps, seat bags, and other gadgets clipped to your bike when you are parked. They are quick release for a reason, and not to make theft easy, keep this stuff ready to go in your bike messenger bag. Just in case attach an extra red flasher to the back of your helmet where it won't be easily stolen keeping you legal. Gears If your bike has multiple gears, use them! Pedaling shouldn't be a huge chore. It's better to lightly "spin" your cranks at a moderately fast cadence rather than push really hard one leg at a time, which is inefficient. It is possible to spin too fast: experiment with your gears to find what works best. Most people find their favorite cadence between 1 and 2 revolutions per second. Demonstrations A cycle is a highly effective means of transport to and escape from a demonstration it can also be used to make a roadblock much as bicycle cops are known to do. Use an old bike for demonstrations as riot-police like to damage and confiscate bikes used in demonstrations. Travel If you travel frequently a folding or take-apart model of bicycle may be for you. Some can even be disassembled or folded to fit a suitcase or duffel-bag. This may save you a double fare or extra charge on airplane, bus, and train trips as well as hitchhiking a ride. If disassembling a bicycle for travel be sure to take off the dérailleur as this is very easily broken when unprotected by the wheel. Remember that small folding bikes have a low center of gravity and short wheelbase and take a while to get used to. See Airlines for more travel packing info. Keeping it Working Once you have a bike, you'll want to keep it working well. One of the most important aspects of bike maintenance is the lubrication of the chain. Almost any cheap oil will work in a pinch to keep the chain moving freely and free of rust: just get the chain nice and wet, then wipe it dry, to reduce dirt buildup. Try to keep the oil off the wheels where it can hurt your ability to brake. If you have the choice buy a proper bicycle chain oil and grease to lube the bearings and chain, only use WD40 to unstick rust jammed parts then clean it off and oil the chain, WD40 draws moisture and encourages rust. Replace a chain that becomes "stretched" this means that the link pins have become partly worn-through, this link to gear tooth size mismatch will eat up the sprockets of your drive train causing skipping and eventual failure. If you have a problem repairing your bike, Sheldon Brown's Website is probably a good place to look for guidance. Tools Owning your own tools makes maintenance less expensive. Plus, many tools you use on bikes, like pliers, wrenches and screwdrivers, are not bike-specific, so they will be useful for all kinds of other things, too. Some bike-specific tools, such as spoke, freewheel, and pedal wrenches and specialized brake tools, will make maintenance much easier, and you'll be more likely to do a good job. Many cities have bike co-ops or shops where you can use their tools for free or for a small fee. Portable Tools It never hurts to always carry the kit for changing a flat tire. At a minimum carry a small quality puncture kit and mini pump, but also carry a spare inner tube. Repair the flat tube in the comfort of your own home later, but don't forget to put it back in your pack for spare. Folding combo bike tools will provide spoke tighteners, chain breakers, hex and screw drivers, sometimes even sockets or wrenches. A small toolkit can make the difference between being mobile in a few minutes or a long walk home. If you will be away from support for a long time you might even go so far as to carry extra tubes, a spare chain, brake pads, a few spokes, folding tire, and extra patch kits. Road Crud Beyond tools, it's important to do simple things to keep your bike in working order. Grit from the road sticks to your bike and its parts, even if you've got full fenders. Once a week, or after every ride in the wet, clean off the gears and the chain. Every time you come home in the rain spray the bike off and bounce the drops off. An old toothbrush (clean it off first if you've used it before) and a rag will do wonders. The main place to focus on is in the actual teeth of the gears, most especially in between. Getting rid of all this destructive crud will increase the life of your gears and chain, and subsequently save you money and hassle. This takes all of ten minutes to do and is completely worth it. Rust Stopping rust also helps: if there's any exposed unpainted or unfinished metal on the frame of your bike, you can touch it up with a little hobby paint. This isn't for cosmetic purposes so much as preventing rusting. Rust eats away at your bike and can compromise the structural integrity of the frame, so watch out: the last thing you want is for your frame to break while you're in traffic. Wheels and Tires Bike tires lose pressure over time. Pump your tires up to the maximum PSI rating marked on your tires once a week and you'll never have to worry about it. Keeping your tires inflated properly reduces rolling resistance, which means less work for you when you're pedaling. It also means that your wheels and tires are going to stand less a chance of being damaged due to extra stress on them. If you have the money invest in the best tires, Kevlar and good rubber will prevent blowouts and tread failures while lasting for several seasons. Check your spokes regularly for tightness and tighten with a spoke tool, this will keep you wheels from warping or riping out other spokes. Generators and Dynamos A bicycle generator or hub dynamo can be used to charge most gadgets needing less than 6 volts. Hubs are almost always of better quality and have less drag while in use. Output is almost always AC power so you need to make a bridge rectifier with diodes to get the power flowing in one direction then a large capacitor if you need to smooth out the voltage, lastly a ziener diode or power regulator circuit for the appropriate voltage needs to be included because high speeds can generate 10-12 volts from a normally 6 volt generator which will fry most electronics without built in protection circuits, you can probably be able to find this whole circuit in a wall wart power block. If you don't want the added drag of generating when going uphill add a mercury switch on a dynamo hub set to activate only on flat and downhill. Friction dynamos/generators will rub a groove onto the side of your tire and eventually cause it to fail if used regularly, a rubber dynamo pickup wheel and cleaning dirt from the rubber contact surfaces will prolong the life of your tire. Nutrition Stay hydrated and fed while cycling, don't waste your time with lo-cal foods; you need fuel, around 7000 Calories is reasonable. If it does not cause you indigestion try to eat lots of fats. A banana can help prevent cramping from long rides. Backpack drinking systems are available now for low prices if you prefer using these to water bottles. Many sport drinks come in a decent reusable squirt bottle that fits standard bottle cages. See Backpacking and Camping and Cheap Chow for food and drink suggestions. If you will be going through towns be sure to do some dumpster diving and begging at pizza bakery and donut places, stock up on free fuel. Have some baking soda for indigestion, witchhazel for hemorrhoids and rub spots, and oatmeal, coconut milk or another laxative if you get backed up. Motor Assist If you want the portability and freedom of a bike with some of the ease of a motorcycle, no worries. Almost any bicycle can be converted to an electric power-assisted type (basically a moped) for a few hundred dollars. Various people have added old or new purpose bought weed-eater type engines to power-assisted bikes with positive results, but keep in mind that two stroke engines which burn an oil gasoline mix do pollute the environment significantly although Honda and Subaru four-stroke motors are much cleaner and consume normal gasoline. US rules now ban the import of most new two cycle engines but they are still available in Canada. The two main methods for power transfer are a friction roller which is directly against the tire necessitating a smooth tread, or chain drive to the wheel, some kits have a sprocket which connects to the spokes, the better way is a specially modified wheel with a free wheel sprocket for the drive chain. Another type is the "push trailer" which is a gas engine or electric motor on a trailer that is towed behind the bike and pushes it forward, using a handle mounted throttle for a control. These are often DIY jobs as the kits are usually quite expensive, but be sure to get good instruction and guidance before doing this on your own. If the purists turn up their nose point out the idea of NEVER needing to use a car even in steep mountainous terrain where most would not even consider a bicycle. Installation Installing a motor puts serious new stress onto your frame and rear wheel, expect much shorter life from your spokes if you are attaching a sprocket to them. Designs which have a special rear wheel with regular and motor sprockets on opposite sides will last longer. Pedaling is more difficult against a chain drive system even when the clutch is out. Friction drive systems quickly take the tread off of your rear tire and often stop working in wet weather. Magneto Electricity Look for a motor with a electrical output from the magnetos to run a light or charge batteries, this electrical output is AC power often only six volts and needs a rectifier circuit to be used by most things other than a regular headlight. Legal Motors If you are desiring to be a legal eagle, some localities prohibit any motor under 50 cc to be used on the King' Highways. Furthermore, any person operating two-wheeled vehicle with a motor greater than 50 cc must have a motor vehicle license. Some states require a motorcycle license regardless of the engine size, while others require only a passenger vehicle license. Most two-stroke engines are generally less than 50 cc, and most electric motors would be considered in the same category. Since laws differ with each jurisdiction, contact your state or province's Department of Motor Vehicles about their regulations on mopeds and "motor-driven cycles". If your motor comes unmarked a professional 49cc sticker or etching might throw off nosy cops. Freighting. Just like most "free" methods of travel talked about in STB, train-hopping is more difficult due to the Bush Empire's restrictions on transportation and general legalist paranoia. Train-hopping is still do-able, but since the government has gotten word of potential "terrorists" hitching a ride on a freight train, you hold a much better chance of being fined or arrested by railroad cops or the local pigs for trespass. This security is also due to taggers who paint the sides of railroad cars and the liability from injured and killed hobos, a hobo leaves nothing but maybe some garbage and only endangers himself, a tagger causes lasting unwanted evidence which managers can't ignore, they have to assume all trespassers are there to tag. Try social engineering at both passenger and freight train stops, even air freight stations. Ask to speak to a crew for a school assignment, ask about riding, also interview the yard crew. Once you get to know some of the crews you will have a real pass onto the steel highway. Except for security it is a special person who seeks work with railroads, be cool to them and they will be cool with you. Many empty freight cars are now completely closed up to prevent a good ride or are sealed shipping containers. Try getting onto a train when it stops at a factory instead of a yard, even though it will likely not be a hot shot. If you see an engineer walking out to the train approach and ask to ride, a bored engineer will sometimes let you ride up front for someone to schmooze with and the bulls will leave you alone. You would be surprised how much info they will give at the yard if you act cool. If there are no open boxcars get onto a flatbed with well tied down freight or between cars, tie in so you don't fall off, the rope should be short enough that you won't drag on the ground or wheels if you fall. A sleeping bag, jacket, or blanket keeps the wind off even in summer, these open cars are breezy once they get moving fast, goggles or Sun glasses keep the bugs and wind out of your eyes. A stadium pad or sleeping mat to sit on is smart, the floors are usually hard, cold, and filthy, tie your pad and loose gear so it won't blow away. Passenger Coach If you have the cash or a good scam get aboard a rail coach, it is the most civilized way to travel on land. Many trains are unable to take full size bikes as luggage, you might need a reservation, folder bikes are fine as regular luggage. You will find many passenger cars now have 110v(220v in Europe) power plugs for charging your gadgets. You might try modifying the scams in Buses and Airlines to get a free trip, but remember most trains check the ticket onboard when the conductor comes around. Scanner Frequency's A portable scanner preprogrammed to railroad frequencies, until they encrypt them, can be useful to find out about approaching trains since the post 9/11 blackout of train schedules. Sometimes the railroad will transmit and receive on two channels using a radio repeater but you having just a scanner should be able to hear the whole conversation on one channel. Here are the scanner frequencies and channel numbers if you want to program them in: 02-159.810 26-160.500 50-160.860 74-161.220 03-159.930 27-160.515 51-160.875 75 161.235 04-160.050 28-160.530 52-160.890 76-161.250 05-160.185 29-160.545 53-160.905 77-161.265 06-160.200 30-160.560 54-160.920 78-161.280 07-160.215 31-160.575 55-160.935 79 161.295 08-160.230 32-160.590 56-160.950 80-161.310 09-160.245 33-160.605 57-160.965 81-161.325 10-160.260 34-160.620 58-160.980 82-161.340 11-160.275 35-160.635 59-160.995 83 161.355 12-160.290 36-160.650 60-161.010 84-161.370 13-160.305 37-160.665 61-161.025 85-161.385 14-160.320 38-160.680 62-161.040 86-161.400 15-160.335 39-160.695 63-161.055 87 161.415 16-160.350 40-160.710 64-161.070 88-161.430 17-160.365 41-160.725 65-161.085 89-161.445 18-160.380 42-160.740 66-161.100 90-161.460 19-160.395 43-160.755 67-161.115 91 161.475 20-160.410 44-160.770 68-161.130 92-161.490 21-160.425 45-160.785 69-161.145 93-161.505 22-160.440 46-160.800 70-161.160 94-161.520 23-160.455 47-160.815 71-161.175 95 161.535 24-160.470 48-160.830 72-161.190 96-161.550 25-160.485 49-160.845 73-161.205 97-161.565 Cars Cars and trucks burn petroleum, corpgovs favorite drug. If you buy into their game and get a car you are part of the problem. That being said sometimes the freedom of personal transportation is worth the risks of easy identifiability and corporate buy-in a car represents. Once you have some gas, save it by driving slower than the right-wing speedfreaks out on the slaveways. Some cars save about 30% on mileage simply by keeping your RPMs down. Clean out your trunk as well. The less stuff you're hauling, the less gas you're burning. Narrow tires cut wind resistance and if you keep them inflated this may reduce highway fuel consumption by 10-20%. If you have a nice IMPEACH BUSH bumper sticker, more cars will see it if you're driving slow, and you can watch all the speed freaks mangle their faces as they pass you in anger, wasting all that gas. Drafting behind a van or truck can save some money but back off if they start to get pissed or you see a cop. Buying Something worth considering is buying a salvage/rebuilt vehicle. While most people have been brainwashed into thinking that rebuilt vehicles are junk, they can save you a good deal of money. Often times insurance companies will write off a vehicle involved in a low-speed crash with deployed airbags. While the first owner is left with a small check and no car, you could potentially buy a car for as little as half its blue book value. Ask at several car repair shops before picking a used car. See what they suggest for specific years, since some may have upgrades that were left out of older models. If the owner won't let you take the car to a mechanic for a checkup or even have an on-site mechanic/inspector check it out, be suspicious and look elsewhere. The money spent on a pre-buy inspection is well worth its price. Car Co-op A car co-op, which is available in many US cities, lets you pay a membership fee monthly for the option of reserving a company owned car at an hourly rate, most plans include several free hours and the rate is often cheaper than regular renting. Most of us don't need a car that often unless we use it as our home. This idea could be done on a small scale by pooling several junkers and letting friends sign up to use them everyone would pre-pay monthly maintenance and fuel bills. Fixing Up But the reality is, many of us are forced to drive cars or trucks with less-than-perfect equipment. The state's solution to this is regular inspections. They want to make sure that what you're driving is safe for you. This means, for instance, that the blinker that 90% of drivers hardly use in the first place (and are rarely ticketed for) need to work. Thats a minor issue, but older cars also have problems with door locks, hinges, a broken mirror, etc., and these can be expensive to repair, especially on someone else's schedule. If you find yourself with a car that is unlikely to pass inspection but is still safe to drive, ask around about getting your car inspected. Usually, a case of beer or a bag of weed along with the inspection fee will get you a free sticker, good for one year of flashlight immunity, despite having old wiper blades and a door that doesn't open. Plus, it's always good to know an honest mechanic. And the best mechanics are not opposed to helping a brother out of a jam in exchange for a buzz, while fucking with the system a bit. Those are the mechanics you can trust. Tires It goes without saying; Keep your tires properly inflated! Soft tires waste gas, and over-inflated tires wear out quicker. If you see uneven wear, you need wheel alignment. This can be done at a repair garage or tire shop (and they'll try to sell you a new set). Remember to rotate your tires every 3,000 miles to ensure even tire wear. If you need tires, ask at an independent tire shop if they can sell you used tires. Some places that specialize in custom wheels will keep the stock tires and wheels that new car buyers bring in. Savvy car enthusiasts will order a high-performance car with all the trimmings, but have stock tires, since the dealer mark-up is so high. Then they'll drive from the dealer to the tire shop and swap the stock tires and wheels for a custom selection that's much cheaper than at the car dealership. Those stock tires are often kept by the tire dealer, but can't be sold as "new" even though they may have been driven as little as a few blocks. Many times, these tires are sold "as is" (no warranty, no returns), but the dealer may throw in free wheel balancing in the purchase. A word of warning about those anti-flat solutions like "Slime": They only work when the wheel is in motion. When stopped, the stuff settles in the bottom of the tire. Also, when it's in the tire, it makes it impossible to have it balanced or plugged/patched. Repairs Haynes and Chilton publish a wide line of owner-friendly repair manuals available at both book stores and auto parts stores. These books give much more detailed information than in the manufacturer-supplied owner's manuals. See if they have a copy at the library If your headlights start to dim as you are driving this is usually caused by a dead or dying alternator. On older model cars these are easy to replace yourself most of the time. Don't stop the car as it will likely die. Your spark and fuel injection are running on that battery. Only think about killing the headlights. If your car sputters after holding the gas down for a few seconds it might be a clogged or old fuel filter. These can be super easy to replace inline filters or almost impossible to replace inside the fuel tank units. Letting your battery die over 4-5 times will seriously weaken or destroy a car battery. If the car overheats try changing or topping off the radiator, as it might be clogged with calcium or rust. It could also be that the oil is low or the oil filter is clogged increasing the heat and wear. The radiator is easily damaged, note the location of leaks when the engine is hot. When you are in a safe place and the engine is cool you can try first adding a radiator stop leak, if this fails find the damaged tubes and brush clean then solder with lead solder and a torch. if this fails bend the tubes over and add stop leak again hopefully plugging them for good. If you see a car similar to yours at a junkyard or rusting away see if they will sell/give you the plates. At a U-pull-it junkyard buy a car seat or something like that and stuff the plates under the vinyl or under the flap of you cardboard parts box. These can be very handy in radical action. You would be surprised how many police cases are solved by seeing a license plate on security cameras. Many highways have license plate scanners for tolling trucks but they likely also record passing cars. Hide a key wired under your vehicle, behind the license plates, or anywhere else that works, check for it every few months. Starting and Trouble Gear If the car sits for long periods of time starting fluid and jumper cables are key to getting moving. A wall socket powered car battery charger and extension cord are also a good idea, and many good battery chargers now even have a jump-start option. A shovel and some sand bags might get you unstuck in muck or snow. A come-along (hand powered ratchet winch) and tow chain, can help get you back onto the road. Snow chains also work in the mud for amazing traction. If you need to rig up a jump start, keep the car with the fresh battery running. First, connect the red cable to the positive terminals, then hook the black cable from the running car's negative terminal to an exposed piece of bare metal on the "dead" car (for a ground). If you see a spark when you attach the second cable to the "dead" car, you've got a complete circuit. Stand back when starting just in case the dead battery explodes (Very rare, but it happens). If you find yourself with only one jumper cable, connect the positive terminals, then slowly roll the cars together so the metal on the bumpers touch. Cars with standard/manual transmissions (that is, cars with a stick shift) can be started with a dead battery by performing a "push start" or "rolling start", as long as the battery is not completely dead. You'll need a lot of help from friends to push the car or be lucky enough to have the car atop a steep hill. Put the key into the "On" position, push down the clutch and put the car in 2nd or 3rd gear, not 1st. Then get your friends together and push the car forward. When the car is rolling fast enough (around 15 MPH), release the clutch and tap the gas pedal. The car should start. Overnight Parking Lot Many retirees pull what is called the "Camp WalMart" trick. They "park" overnight in the parking lot and save the overnight fee spent at RV parks, some mart stores even encourage this. If you try this with a camper or van, make certain this is legal, since some cities have passed laws against "overnight parking" and you'll be stuck with a parking ticket or midnight eviction. If you see signs reading "No Overnight Parking" either in the lot or at the entrance, they mean it. Car Cover You can park overnight in many whitebread communities at the curb if you cover your car with a nice clean car cover. You might even be able to stay in one place between the huge lot lines for several nights before any homeowner notices. With the car cover on your car the rent-a-thug/ethnic cleanser has no idea you are camping out in a rust bucket or which house you (don't) belong to. When you get your cover walk right out to your car open the package and try it on, you need to be able to open a door (front and back door if possible) and enter with the cover on, if this doesn't work walk back and return it for a cover that will work. The car cover should be near the top of your yippie drop out kit shopping list if you plan to keep your car. We have known other car dwellers who install a dark colored removable curtain between front and back seats, tint the windows of the back seat and use a sun shield at night to block the rear window, nobody can see the sleeper in back even if you are not using a cover and it is difficult to see the curtain. Legal for Cars If you ever are stopped, be compliant with the officers demands for license and papers, but do the minimum and produce your papers through a slit in your closed window if you have been smoking. It will look suspicious and arouse the officers attention, but if there is nothing illegal in plain sight/smell/sound the pig can't really do anything. It is important to know, for example, that film containers are considered prima facia evidence of pot in most parts of the country unless there is also other camera gear present giving him grounds to search. It is also evidence for a stop that a person of the wrong race is out of place i.e. black in a white neighborhood or old car in rich neighborhood. If the officer wants to search the vehicle politely refuse, continuing to say that you do not give permission in a normal voice. Doing this will likely result in the whole force showing up, including K-9, trying to find a legal reason to open up your car. Claim your car is your home, this will have more weight if you are driving a registered camping vehicle, this mostly affects alcohol and open container charges by removing intent to drive in a parked vehicle. The officer can ask anyone in the car (or on the street) out for a weapons search, comply and as you exit, if you are able, lock the car denying him an easy illegal search. The officer can also demand to search the driver accessible area (if you are still in the car) for weapons. Never admit to any infraction, the officer will ask how fast you were going, politely respond to his question by asking how fast he thought you were going or remain silent. If he returns and tries to get you to talk or search your vehicle politely ask for your papers and whatever citation he has written, after you get your papers, ask politely if you can leave, this should be your answer to any further questions. If by force he tries to search politely continue to refuse even as he begins to break and enter, do not physically restrain him or fight him, you will be charged with assault if you do interfere. Carrying drugs is just asking for a search, a drug dog can usually sniff out pot easily (it is quite stinky), once the dog indicates the cop can legally cut open any part of the car without your permission. The best time to refuse a search on principle is when you really have nothing to hide. As always don't believe our legal advice, the lawyer we retained lost his law license for representing a client in court while stoned. Electrical If you need to, you can buy DC powered appliances (hot pots, toasters, skillets, etc.) that plug into your car cigarette lighter. Just be careful using them, since they can drain your battery if the motor is not running, and not using them properly can start a fire. DC appliances can be had at most RV camping supply stores and truck stops. If you're technically inclined install a battery isolator and a second deep-cycle type battery and cigarette lighter jack and run the appliances off of that. A dash board solar panel is a good idea if you spend weeks cycling and only drive for long group trips. Some are available which will back flow power into the cigarette lighter jack (Just make sure your car's electrical system works this way). Another good idea is to remove the ground wire from the battery or install a knife switch so you can totally disconnect the battery avoiding normal power drainage to the radio, alarm, and car electronics. Don't use the dome light while parked you might fall asleep and wake with a dead battery, think about wiring the dome light into that new second battery. Cooking and Heating If you're on a road trip, double wrap your meal in aluminum foil and use a hangar or wire to wrap it on the engine block, radiator, or exhaust manifold, be careful to not overheat and burst cans. Practice will let you learn the warmest places under the hood, be careful not to interfere with belts or moving parts, using foil is the wisest insulator as it is heat and fire resistant. If you are not moving it is smarter to get out and use a camp stove and save fuel. Try warming up prepared foods with your passenger side windshield defroster while on the road, if you feel hot open a window while your food warms. Don't run your engine while parked just to use the heater in your car, this is a massive waste of fuel for the usable heat it produces in the car, conversely it is a free way to warm up if you are already driving somewhere. Look into getting a small portable catalytic heater to run while parked, but don't start your car on fire with it. An extension cord would let you plug into a nearby electrical outlet for heaters or hotplates. For more ideas flip to Cheap Chow, Homeless-Street Savvy A Word About Biodiesel Free biodiesel is an amazing deal while it lasts. As the dollar falls apart and the world oil production slides further down the supply curve prices will surge and it will become more common that factory fields that once supplied food to billions will be burned out the tailpipes of SUV's not as recycled oil but as primary fuel, waste oil will be much more carefully guarded as the value rises, and will be changed with much less frequency. Serfs in North America will work the ethanol and oil bearing crops much as the indigenous people are forced to heavy physical labor for pittance in the Brazilian sugar cane fields to support the driving habits of the elite Spanish rulers, their only other option is starvation. Biodiesel fuel is not the same as waste veggie oil from behind a store. Salts, water, and solids must be remove and the thickness needs to be changed to be a full substitute for diesel fuel. Once a diesel engine is warmed up straight cleaned vegetable oil may be able to be used, a dual tank setup allowing on the fly blending would be required. Regular diesel or fully converted biodiesel must be used at startup and a few minutes before shutdown to flush the system of the thicker straight veggie oil. The following paragraph from Wikipedia is released under the GNU free document license. Chemically, transesterified biodiesel comprises a mix of mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids. The most common form uses methanol to produce methyl esters as it is the cheapest alcohol available, though ethanol can be used to produce an ethyl ester biodiesel and higher alcohols such as isopropanol and butanol have also been used. Using alcohols of higher molecular weights improves the cold flow properties of the resulting ester, at the cost of a less efficient transesterification reaction. A lipid transesterification production process is used to convert the base oil to the desired esters. Any Free fatty acids (FFAs) in the base oil are either converted to soap and removed from the process, or they are esterified (yielding more biodiesel) using an acidic catalyst. After this processing, unlike straight vegetable oil, biodiesel has combustion properties very similar to those of petroleum diesel, and can replace it in most current uses. In other words either mix the straight (cleaned and dried) veggie oil with an alcohol thinning it or chemically convert it with a strong alkaline like lye leaving a soap byproduct. Most often methanol is a natural gas derivative. Perhaps an easy way to get free veggie oil is literally from shit, Mickey D's and other places have vats of fryer oil used to drench their dog food meat and potato products. After a few days, the oil gets chucked. If you have a diesel car, you can use the filtered oil in the vehicle in combination or independent of diesel with a few often inexpensive modifications. If somebody hasn't already beat you to it, you can check with restaurants/cafeterias and see about carting it away for them. If the manager gives you a hard time or says that he gives it to an oil recycling service, don't despair. Most of these places keep the old oil outside as a fire safety issue. Find where it is and late one night grab as much fryer grease as your car can carry. If you run your car on Biodiesel all the time, it's best to keep it to yourself. Some states have actually been sending officers from the state tax boards and fining people for using Biodiesel! Why, you ask? For evading motor fuel taxes that pay for the public roads, or operating as an "unlicensed secondary fuel distiller"! Blends with regular petrol and regular diesel fuel will also work but will expose you to gas tax, but blending with furnace heating oil which is just dyed diesel fuel will not. Don't forget that you can tap those cheaper untaxed furnace oil tanks behind your house for fuel in a pinch, just be sure that your vehicle has a good filter and water filter added.. Edited Original Cars If you know how to drive and want to travel long distances, the auto transportation agencies are a good deal. Look in the Yellow Pages under Automobile Transportation and Trucking or Driveway. Rules vary, but normally you must be over 21 and have a valid license. Call up and tell them when and where you want to go and they will let you know if they have a car available. They give you the car and a tank of gas free. You pay the rest. Go to pick up the car alone, then get some people to ride along and help with the driving and expenses. You can make New York to San Francisco for about eighty dollars in tolls and gas in four days without pushing. Usually you have the car for longer and can make a whole thing out of it. You must look straight when you go to the agency. This can be simply be done by wetting down your hair and shoving it under a cap. Another good way to travel cheaply is to find somebody who has a car and is going your way. Usually underground newspapers list people who either want rides or riders. Another excellent place to find information is your local campus. Every campus has a bulletin board for rides. Head shops and other community-minded stores have notices up on the wall. has rideshare section for this purpose. A side benefit of travelling this way is that you can often meet really interesting people by riding with them. Gas If your traveling in a car and don't have enough money for gas and tolls, stop at the bus station and see if anybody wants a lift. If you find someone, explain your money situation and make a deal with him. Hitch-hikers also can be asked to chip in on the gas. You can carry a piece of tubing in the trunk of your car and when the gas indicator gets low, pull up to a nice looking Cadillac on some dark street and syphon off some of his gas. Just park your car so the gas tank is next to the Caddy's, or use a large can. Stick the hose into his tank, suck up enough to get things flowing, and stick the other end into your tank. Having a lower level of liquid, you tank will draw gas until you and the Caddy are equal. "To each according to his need, from each according to his ability," wrote Marx. Bet you hadn't realized until now that the law of gravity affects economics. (most cars now have anti siphon baffles) Another way is to park in a service station over their filler hole. Lift off one lid (like a small manhole cover), run down twenty feet of rubber tubing thru the hole you've cut in your floorboard, then turn on the electric pump which you have installed to feed into your gas tank. All they ever see is a parked car. This technique is especially rewarding when you have a bus. (most now require a key) Buses I've traveled close to two million miles on buses, as a passenger and as a bus driver. A few suggestions: most bus drivers do not care if you pay your full fare. If you put some money in the farebox, and are considerate of the driver and your fellow passengers, you'll be fine. It actually helps to tell the driver that you can't pay the full fare. Put yourself in the driver's position. Would you want to stress yourself out arguing over nickels with everyone who gets on the bus? Yes it's true that some bus drivers thrive on just that sort of miserabilism, but not all that many. Don't waste the driver's time with an elaborate hard luck story. Most bus drivers have witnessed more hard luck than you know. They appreciate being spared the details. Don't threaten bus drivers. Don't say things like, "I'll sue the bus company and get you fired". If you tried this on me I would tell you to get off my bus and call your lawyer. Absolutely don't threaten bus drivers with physical harm. Many big city buses have silent alarms, camera systems, GPS locator's etc. Besides, "I'll kick your ass if you don't do what I say", isn't good negotiating. How well does that sort of thing work on you? It is also unwise to assume that bus drivers don't know about your brilliant scheme. Personally, I've been riding buses since I was an infant. I started riding the bus on my own when I was 5. I got my first driving job when I was 19. I've driven everything from unlicensed hippy buses to articulated luxury cruisers. Chances are, I, and many other bus drivers are entirely familiar with any scam you might want to try. Bus drivers are working stiffs who want to make it through the day with minimal effort. If you understand this, and don't bother the regular passengers (many of whom know their driver) you can get where you're going with minimal difficulties. If you run into a nosey, bossy or mean bus driver, don't worry about it. Try again with the next bus. You might want to try hitchhiking while you wait. Unfortunately, many modern city buses use a computerized farebox which automatically counts money and then beeps when the full fare is paid. This obviously makes short-changing the bus company difficult, but also provides a way for the bus company management to control otherwise sympathetic bus drivers. These fareboxes come with a button (often red) on the drivers' side of the farebox. This allows the driver to manually authorize a fare and is usually pressed when a transfer slip or a bus-pass is used. If you need to get to the city and you are in the suburbs, a free and easy way to travel via bus is to go to the closest Greyhound station after it closes and wait for a bus heading to the main station. Just tell the bus driver that you need to get your tickets to travel to "any far city" and that the station is closed but you have a conformation number. The driver should let you on. When traveling long distance on a bus, train or airplane nothing helps you sleep more than a proper neck pillow. Our testers have found that the inflatable pillows are light and tiny but quickly spring a leak. Memory foam is heavy but very comfortable and makes a nice seat cushion or bed pillow. If on an especially noisy bus and you have a friend on the aisle awake you can also use earplugs or headphones and a sleeping mask to space out or sleep. Original Buses If you'd rather leave the driving and the paying to them, try swiping a ride on the bus. Here's a method that has worked well. Get a rough idea of where the bus has stopped before it arrived at your station. If you are not at the beginning or final stop on the route, wait until the bus you want pulls in and then out of the station. Make like the bus just pulled off without you while you went to the bathroom. If there is a station master, complain like crazy to him. Tell him you're going to sue the company if your luggage gets stolen. He'll put you on the next bus for free. If there is no station master, lay your sad tale on the next driver that comes along. If you know when the last bus left, just tell the driver you've been stranded there for eight hours and you left your kid sleeping on the other bus. Tell him you called ahead to the company and they said to grab the next bus and they would take care of it. (Less likely to work now with mobile phones.) The next method isn't totally free but close enough. It's called the hopper-bopper. Find a bus that makes a few stops before it gets to where you want to go. The more stops with people getting in our out the better. Buy a ticket for the short hop and stay on the bus until you end up at your destination. You must develop a whole style in order to pull this off because the driver has to forget you are connected with the ticket you gave him. Dress unobtrusively or make sure the driver hasn't seen your face. Pretend to be asleep when the short hop station is reached. If you get questioned, just act upset about sleeping through the stop you "really" want and ask if it's possible to get a ride back. Airlines Intro The skies are dark these days. After 9/11, the Amerikan Government has made it more difficult to get on a plane even the traditional way. The safest way to get free or cheap airfare is to see if somebody in the "general aviation", or private pilots, have room for you. Many may get sketched out by this, so look for people who seem cool about it. It may sweeten the pot a bit if you act like a young college kid, a plane nut, or offer some cash for airplane fuel (like, $20-50) or a place to spend the night if it's a cross-country trip in a Piper Cub. One of the best offers for trade is to wash the plane before or after the flight, have a bucket and clean sponge ready, hang out in the airstrip coffee shop and look for pilots. Always look for airports that offer lessons and grab a pilot burning air hours to upgrade their license. It could very well be a loud ride and you may not get there as fast as a jet (prop planes go about 1/2 the speed of a jet), but its an amazing experience, and it beats driving! (Not)Skyjacking Only an idiot would try hijacking a flight after 9/11. Some pilots now are armed and sky marshals who are on a small percentage of domestic and international flights have orders to shoot to kill if anyone tries to take control of the aircraft. We aren't really scared of these people and the few flights they are on, we are really scared of what a gang of flying rednecks would do to be like the pocketknife guys on 9/11 and save the day. Please ignore Abby's advice from a simpler era. Take comfort in the fact that the airport-pigs are mostly simple power hungry types if your nonskyjacking scam is outside of what they are ordered to watch for and your documents appear to be in order you are likely home free much easier than in the old days. Fre-E-Ticket Hopper Once you have passed the frat hazing dances like the removed shoes shuffle, the trashed shampoo swing, and the rectal exam jam the TSA freaks feel they have pulled out all of the rebels, what sane unbroken person would not take a swing at their crudely grunted orders. Your guerrilla acting skills have gotten you past, and on to cashing in on Abbie's dream of free flying for the bold. • • • • • • Pick up a few e-ticket boarding passes from the trash outside an airport to copy, these are printed on a home computer. Find a print cartridge that is won't print right or set your paint program to (a)put streaks parallel into the bar-code and (b)wipe out a few numbers under the bar code, both are important. Print out a new e-ticket with the correct date and where you want to fly. You have to use extreme caution that the flight number and time and other details are exactly right. Arrive at the airport dressed nicely, you want to look vanilla. Wait until right before final boarding call and rush up, when the bar-code scan doesn't work they will usually send you aboard. Since you should be the last guy boarding grab an open seat in first class and start asking for the free booze. If this plan doesn't get you a wave through right away, before they even hassle you or offer to access the computer try to find you on the computer claim to have another ticket leaving right now (know the flight number and gate) that you have to run to on another airline because you thought you would miss this flight, stay cool, get gone, try again later. Since this trick requires speed a little stress and carelessness on the part of the agent don't try any other scams like having them gate check an extra bag, being late is the best way to stay out of trouble with this gag. Missionary Position Many missionary organizations will fly you to a third-world country for free to preach the word of Jebus to the heathen locals, and fly you back in a year or so. Do your research before working with an organization many also pressure you to self fund your trip. Simply ditch out for the year, peruse the more touristy spots, make some money, etc., then return when the time is up with some cockand-bull story of independent missionary work prepared you might even bogus up a diary as proof. These people are usually not hard-asses, so even if they don't buy it for a second, they won't ditch you in deepest, darkest Peru, but research them and feel them out to see if they sue ditcher's. Jewish kids (religious and non religious) can often get free rides to Israel in summer through several Jewish programs. Around The World Tickets If you have a year off and want to hit many locations as you tour an around the world ticket is likely the fare you want. Before leaving find out how many stops you can make and how long the ticket will be valid. Most RTW tickets will end up cheaper than a long trip and return to Europe or Australia from North America. Air Courier Believe it or not, you can fly on the cheap if you deliver a package to the city of your destination... and no, there's no drugs or other contraband involved. Flying as an air courier is a dirt cheap way of travel. There are a few catches: You have to sign up for the program (try or and pay an initiation fee and/or annual dues; You need to be at least 18 (or in some cases 21); You need a valid passport and a clean-cut appearance; You're responsible for getting your own Visa(s); You're limited to carry-on baggage and the flight schedules can be erratic (You may be flying the Red Eye to Singapore after only two day's notice). On the plus side, you can fly for up to an 85% discount and your Air Courier ID card can get you hotel discounts. If you want to, you can schedule additional assignments from your destination and turn your trip into a Grand Tour. If you travel frequently and don't mind last-minute booking, consider this option. If you do, keep a list of the phone numbers of your country's embassies overseas. Upgrades Dress nice and ask politely for an upgrade for First or Business Class, some agents can still do this for you, on long flights the free booze and leg room is sometimes just a request away. You may have to wait for the next flight in the schedule, but it will be worth it. If you are "bumped" from an overbooked flight, you may get an upgraded seat if you raise enough of a fuss (If they do, it's mostly just to keep you quiet). Support Gear Have your in flight support gear in your carry on bag, buy a inflight audio plug adapter (two pin) and get some old style tube earphones for older airplanes. For those who are more sensitive when trying to nap, your pillow or neck pillow and a nicer sleeping mask and earplugs or noise canceling earphones(music works too) might make a difference. If you have a HPC or PDA you can extend the usable life on long flights with a external AA battery pack, now your e-book, movies, or music will last. On newer aircraft especially in first and business class your seat may have a laptop power plug, the best use for this is to use a air to cigarette plug adapter, now you can either plug in all of your 12 volt gadgets made for Cars, or if you have a laptop or other mains power electrical toy use a 12v to 120v adapter and your normal laptop power brick instead of an expensive auto/air adapter. Sky Phones We have tried to stealthily use our mobile phones for calls and a data cable to get an Internet connection over the US and Europe without success, maybe our phones are crap. There are plans afoot for airlines to have their own hyper-expensive roaming plan with a special mini cell station on the airplane. Try to hack the Air-Fone for free calls, with a modem port for super slow data you might get one or two web pages to load during the flight for a price of around $8 a minute. Bicycles If you are flying with a bicycle visit a bike shop and ask for a free box, if they want money go to the next shop, these are thrown away otherwise. If you have a full size bike you will normally be charged for oversize, so stuff the box with other gear too. Remove wheels and pedals, take off the dérailleur and zip tie to the frame, load the frame against one side of the box and the wheels on the other, remove the skewers and tape the pedals together then to the frame. Carry the tools to attach your pedals. Use fiber packing tape to secure the box and pack the tape and loading instructions in the box for TSA repacking. If you have a folding bike use similar technique and even a 20" wheel bike should fit into a regular check suitcase if you remove the wheels, dérailleur, and seat post from the frame. Bike Friday out in Oregon sells a clamshell suitcase drilled for a trailer tongue and wheels that attach to the suitcase with wingnuts, the suitcase that your folding bike rides in becomes the trailer, we expect that you could also make such a setup for much less with a trip to the thrift store and hardware shop. Guns Legal firearms and limited ammo can be checked on domestic flights and with proper permits also international flights. A record may be kept that you have traveled with firearms. Cover your locked gun case with a generic cardboard box. Pyrotechnics are not allowed including signal flares. This is the only time you can really lock your bags anymore, maybe you should stick an old gun in every bag for that reason. Heavy Baggage After your check in and weigh and tag your bags go back and add a few pounds of stuff before giving to the freight guy. Overload your carry-on with heavy stuff if you can avoid an overweight charge but make sure the bag still fits into the size test box. Grab a few duty-free bags so you look legit taking extra stuff on as carry on. Sometimes you can gate check stuff like strollers and wheelchairs so you will have them right away at landing. Camping gear Camping gear that uses stinky fuel cant be taken along unless you clean out the fuel bottles with alcohol and let them dry, leave the bottles open, if there is a problem with your clean fuel bottles or stove ask for a manager. Compressed fuel is not allowed on flights, mail it to general delivery at your destination. Stowing Away We in no way recommend this foolhardy way of catching a ride in the skies. Most wheel well stow away attempts are made at airports outside the United States where security is lower. Most of these attempts result in the crush death of the stow away as the landing gear comes up or when the rider dies of hypoxia (lack of oxygen) and hypothermia (cold exposure). It is much better to fake your way on board with fake ID as a bogus pilot or flight attendant then this easily fatal stunt. Anyone planning to stow away needs to plan for where to hide from the security teams but also avoid the retracting landing gear, do some research into the design of the aircraft and evaluate the space one more time as you crawl in and attach your climbing harness taking into account any attachments on the landing gear. Avoiding the cold requires planning for many hours at forty degrees below zero F. Mountaineering grade clothing must be worn paying particular attention to keeping your hands and feet from frostbite and your head armpits and crotch well insulated to keep your core temperature. Some aircraft have hot pipes that pass through the wheel wells which might save your hands or feet. Be sure to eat a very protein and fat heavy meal before and carry water with you in durable bottles for the flight inside your coat. Don't go if you are having any gas or ear problems at all the change in altitude could cause massive pain and damage. Oxygen is required since a modern jet flies between 35000 and 40000 feet, hypoxia kills most airplane stow aways. A non-rebreather or even better a pressure type aviation oxygen mask mask fed with oxygen from a paramedic type oxygen bottle will keep you alive and often even conscious during the trip but don't expect one small bottle to last the whole flight, plan for blacking out at altitude. Be sure to calculate oxygen use and carry enough or you will likely die from hypoxia. Representative oxygen bottle sizes and duration at 15,000 ft not using a CO2 scrubber rebreather. Cubic Feet Capacity L Duration 6 CU. FT. 198 liters 5:28 hours 9 CU. FT. 297 liters 8:07 hours 15 CU. FT. 495 liters 13:48 hours 24 CU. FT. 792 liters 22:42 hours Bottle life will actually be better at higher altitude since each breath takes in less bottle volume. Breathe slowly conserving oxygen, set the oxygen flow to just fill the reservoir bag below the mask so you get a good breath without wasting. This chart is a guide, only trust your own research. The rebreather design in Underwater Trashing will give you many times longer oxygen supply from the same volume of oxygen because it doesn't waste good oxygen but recycles it scrubbing out the CO2 waste. Be sure the rebreather system has a demand valve so you do not need to manually add oxygen to your loop if you black out. Once you have go so far as to prepare an oxygen system you should invest the time and money in finding a quality parachute, that way as soon as the landing gear door opens you can jump and avoid the security patrol at the destination airport and probably jail or deportation. This works better if you arrive at night when people will not see the parachutist drop from a commercial airliner near the airport. Do you still want to try this stupid stunt? Mail Yourself Dead bodies in caskets and large parcels are frequently sent as air freight on passenger and cargo flights. The good news is unlike a deathwish inside a wheel well the cargo area is pressurized and kept at normal temperatures, the only thing missing is drink service, movies, and the dogfood meals. Whatever you do make the packing list match your reasonable weight. Be sure you are overnighting or next day shipping yourself or you could get stuck in a warehouse for a few days, have a tool to break out in case of emergencies. If you are going with the casket gig you will need a copy of the "death certificate" and a burial permit, the good news is you will not need long term reservations. If you go out like the title character in the film "Weekend at Bernie's" you should be able to make a few trips to Hawaii and South America before you begin to smell bad. This trick should freak out the feds now they will have open every casket to taser the corpses just to be sure!! Always have your straighter friends ask for the bereavement discount as they accompany the dearly departing at gate 27, final boarding call. In City Travel Abusing the Bus System Depending on where you are there may or may not be a public bus system, if you are lucky there will be a big public bus system. This equates to free rides. Transfers are often color coded for the day of the week, meaning a day old transfer is pretty much out, but most drivers won't check the times on a transfer if it the right color. Check garbage cans near transit points. If you are feeling more legit and younger looking many bus systems have a reduced fare for youth. Most drivers don't bother checking ID. If you are lucky enough to be in a city that allows people to enter at the back of the bus (ex. Ottawa, Canada) just walk aboard and take a seat. This works best on the busier routes and there are others getting on at the same time. The traffic pigs usually do a sweep at the beginning of each new college semester to 'persuade' new students that it isn't an option. Best buy a ticket then and at the beginning of the month, especially if the first is on the weekend. Corpgov will even hassle the three-piece suiters about not having their monthly pass updated. Always keep enough money for the fare on hand so you can talk your way out of it. If you're dressed in corporate camouflage you can use the "I haven't had enough coffee today" line with a moderate degree of success. Maps and Attractions Most nicer hotels have free maps of the city that are often free for the asking at the front desk, also check at big bus terminals and airport information stations for free maps. While in the hotel look for the tourist pamphlets to see what attractions are available. NYC Subway Hack In New York City you can get free rides on the subway by bending an empty metrocard the right way. The exploit is a result of the system being unable to read bent or damaged cards. To compensate for that error there is a built in fail safe that if a card is swiped 3 times and the computer reads a certain code that tells them it was damaged, on the 4th swipe it lets the swiper through. Here's how it works: • • • • • 1) Bend the bottom right corner of your metro card up to the f (f part of the word facing). It is a 45 degree angle. Close the bend hard 2) Swipe it 3 times and it says "please swipe again" 3) On the 3rd time it says "please swipe again at this turnstile" 4) Swipe one more time with the bend open and it says balance= $0.00, previous balance $2.00. GO 5) Go. This trick should theoretically work on the bus also but the bus driver might catch on if you dip the card 4 times so it will probably only work with a stupid bus driver. But considering most bus drivers don't really care if you pay or not it should work often enough. Be careful though its a $60 fine if you get caught. Community Cycling Find out if a community cycle program like Cycling, Yellow-White Bicycle Programs exists. Shuttles In Las Vegas, senior citizens are very savvy when it comes to using the free inter-casino shuttle buses. Since many of the casinos are owned by the same company (Station Casinos, MGM-Mirage, etc.), they will have shuttle buses that go from casino to casino. Many have the timetables memorized where they can walk to one casino, take the shuttle bus to the other casino, and walk the rest of the way for free. Ask around. Sail Away While a bit unorthodox for a yippie, the suits have it right on this one, sailing is fun and a very revolutionary way to live and travel. Being disgusting spendthrifts once a boat gets "old" the yuppies have to upgrade so they aren't shown-up by the Jones'. Most yuppies run the sails for looks and are under power at all times, save a dinosaur use the motor only when you have to. Buying and Preparation A 27 foot ocean capable craft can be acquired for very cheap if you visit the docks regularly and ask if there are any abandoned boats that they are selling to recover the moorage fees. Look for auctions in the paper and inquire at boat repair shops. Always go browsing with an experienced skipper who can assess weak spots in the rigging and hull, sail quality, and engine wear before buying. A little cleanup and you have a house, an intercontinental get away vehicle, and an almost free way to get up and down the coast. For free mooring look for a small sound or cove near a public park where the water is in another jurisdiction, drop an old engine block with a chain and float, this is your new anchorage. Leave no valuables in your boat, the only security is that thieves must cross a bit of water. Never leave the launch aboard if you use this storage method, even more important do not leave your launch at the beach or thieves have easy access to your sailboat and, hey free launch! If the sailboat doesn't have a launch a canoe will work quite nicely and is easier to paddle than a Zodiac. Training It is worthwhile to spend a few months getting familiar with your boating skills. A boat is not a car you are at the mercy of the wind, current, and inertia. A power motor is a good idea for docking. Accidents with boats can lead to a sinking or severe damage especially in a boatyard, some places will land you in jail if you damage another boat and are uninsured. Look into a university sailing team or post an offer to crew for free to locals out for a joy ride. All of the advice in this article is great for a cheap abode and for the fun of it. However one should never enter into the world of sailing lightly. The old saying that I've heard is that "The Sea is like a woman; Know how to handle her and she will love you. Because if you don't know how to handle her she will wreck you." This is true and with this said it should be seriously recommended to anyone who is considering taking up the sailing/boating route that they enroll themselves in as many safe boating and seamanship courses as possible. Here you will gain much needed knowledge on how to handle the sea and it's challenges. Some of the best instruction in seamanship is offered by the U.S. Power Squadron and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. All of their classes are approved by the Coast Guard for training purposes. One I'm sure would agree that it's better to never have to call the Coast Guard or any other law enforcement than to have to perhaps explain your stash on board. Therefore with this premise alone it's important to learn good seamanship and how to handle your boat. Also the classes offered by the USPS and USCGAUX are usually low cost and rarely over $100 each. Also other agencies such as your state's Bureau of Marine Resources may offer some boating classes for free. In addition to this one may find some classes online for free such as the one offered in basic boating skills by Boat U.S. which is on their website at Boating is not like car driving and there are numerous more rules that one should be aware of in order to safely operate a boat. Also one should consider investing in the Boater's Bible also known by it's official name, The Chapman School of Seamanship Manual of Basic Seamanship. This book contains all that one needs to know for safe boating skills from things as simple as how to tie an anchor on to what international signal flags mean. It is an indispensable tool to boaters. Crewing Look for adds of people who want a crew for an ocean crossing to Europe, South America, or Hawaii trip. Get to know those that want you for crew a little before agreeing to accompany them on such a trip. There are stories of the free riders being treated like slaves in exchange for their food while the yuppie owners sat around smoking (and not sharing) their doob. Skipper The skipper is one of the top reasons to choose or reject a boat. If she is a philosopher queen the voyage may be hard but her leadership will keep arguments form going too far and working arrangements fair. The captain is the heart and the head of the boat, defy her at your own and the crews peril. Sextant If you like math or are paranoid that the aliens are going to steal the GPS satellites learn to use a sextant. A sextant just measures the angle between the sun, moon star, or planet and the horizon. When combined with a stellar movement book and an exact clock you can compute your location on earth to within a few nautical miles. Drugs If you have a stash hide it well, the US Coast Guard feels the right to patrol the high seas and search any vessel it wishes. Cargo Cruises Old books mentioned cheap passage on cargo vessels. Our research seems to indicate that said travel is still slow but in 2007 can cost as much as US$3000 to get to Europe or Asia form the North American coasts. Stowing away on modern vessels is not such a bright idea either. With most ships being either auto, container, or tanker there is a very small crew but this means almost nowhere to hide with any shelter and nowhere to get food or water during the several week voyage. Pirate Radio It used to be European radio waves were full of pirate stations with great music and radical politics immune from prosecution because they were in international waters. Since the signing of international sea treaties a pirate operator transmitting on unauthorized signals may be boarded even in international waters and the craft impounded by the offended nations navy or coastal police. Building One may wish to consider is to build their own boat especially if cost is an issue or finding a seaworthy boat is an issue as it can sometimes be. There are numerous books out there on this. Some of the best are those by George Buehler such as Backyard Boat Building, Howard I. Chappelle such as BoatBuilding and the History of American Small Craft, and the Sharpie Book by Reul Parker. These books all illustrate step by step how one can build a boat. A sharpie is one of the easiest boats to build and will provide the added benefit of not only being a seaworthy craft but if made of wood will lend itself to easy repairability anywhere in the world but also due to the hull design allows one to go inland to many places many larger boats can't go. Which can be most helpful if needing to find a good hiding location from which to plan your next move or just to satisfy the need to get away from everyone and everything. Also based on our research a good cruising sized sharpie could be built for less than US$1000 in 2007. The only problem might be where to build but then seeing how a group of two or three could build them one in a matter of a couple of weeks I would say that any State or National Forest or Park that lies on a gentle flowing river should provide a good location on which to build. Just remember to camouflage your boatyard so that Smokey (aka Forest or Park Ranger) doesn't come looking for you and practice good woodsmanship so as to not start any forest fires or brush fires which could ruin your boat and boatyard not to mention call much undue attention to you. Good luck to all future children of Neptune and Poseidon but remember the saying that we mentioned first. Safety should always be the first rule in dealing with boats. Free Education Teach Your Children Well Even if your local school system is good, it doesn't hurt to also teach your kids a bit at home, especially before they start school. Home kits like "Hooked On Phonics" teach kids to read in the form of a series of games (It also gets them away from the mind-numbing TV set for a few hours!). Many also find Montessori style learning useful. There are many home schooling groups across the USA. Ask around, but remember that some are rather far right-wing in scope, since many Christian fundamentalists see "liberal" public education as a "corrosive influence". Here are some places to start looking: • • • • • • Easy Homeschooling - - Home School Free Stuff - Home School Learning Network - Home School Legal Defense Association - HomeSchooler Network (Part of Family Education Network) Wikibooks has a number of educational books for kids that can be downloaded free of charge as part of their "Wikijunior" project. Some books may be under construction: A number of the completed books can be downloaded from links here: If the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are not to your liking (or if they're not liking to you), consider SpiralScouts International, an alternative youth group for boys and girls of minority faiths. If there isn't a SpiralScouts group near you, they can help you start one. Electronics designer and software developer Adam Pierce designed and built a miniature electronics kit for his son for a few bucks worth of spare parts (which does just about the same as a $50 kit from Radio $hack). Consider this for a kid who likes to tinker with stuff. The plans are here: Original Free Education Usually when you ask somebody in college why they are there, they'll tell you it's to get an education. The truth of it is, they are there to get the degree so that they can get ahead in the rat race. Too many college radicals are two-timing punks. The only reason you should be in college is to destroy it. If there is stuff that you want to learn though, there is a way to get a college education absolutely free. Simply send away for the schedule of courses at the college of your choice. Make up the schedule you want and audit the classes. In smaller classes this might be a problem, but even then, if, the teacher is worth anything at all, he'll let you stay. In large classes, no one will ever object. If you need books for a course, write to the publisher claiming you are a lecturer at some school and considering using their book in your course. They will always send you free books. There are Free Universities springing up all over our new Nation. Anybody can teach any course. People sign up for the courses and sometimes pay a token registration fee. This money is used to publish a catalog and pay the rent. If you're on welfare you don't have to pay. You can take as many or as few courses as you want. Classes are held everywhere: in the instructor's house, in the park, on the beach, at one of the student's houses or in liberated buildings. Free Universities offer courses ranging from Astrology to the Use of Firearms. The teaching is usually of excellent quality and you'll learn in a community-type atmosphere. LIST OF FREE UNIVERSITIES (from 1970) • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Alternative University-69 W. 14th St., New York, NY 10011 (catalog on request) Baltimore Free U-c/o Harry, 233 E. 25th St., Baltimore, Maryland 21218 Berkeley Free U-1703 Grove St., Berkeley, California 94709 Bowling Green Free U-c/o Student Council, University of Bowling Green, Bowling Green Ohio 43402 Colorado State Free U-Box 12-Fraisen, Colorado State College, Greeley, Colorado 80631 Detroit Area Free U-Student Union, 4001 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit, Michigan 48221 Detroit Area Free U-343 University Center, Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich. Georgetown Free U-Loyola Bldg., 28, Georgetown University Washington D.C. 20007 Golden Gate Free U-2120 Market St., Rm. 206, San Francisco, California 94114 Heliotrope-2201 Filbert, San Francisco, California 94118 Illinois Free U-298A Illini Union, University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois 61820 Kansas Free U-107 W. 7th St., Lawrence, Kansas 66044 Knox College Free U-Galesbury, Illinois 60401 Madison Free U-c/o P. Carroll, 1205 Shorewood Blvd., Madison, Wisconsin 53705 Metropolitan State Free U-Associated Students, 1345 Banrock St., Denver, Colorado 80204 Michigan State Free U-Associated Students, Student Service Bldg., Michigan State College, East Lansing, Michigan 48823 Mid-Peninsula Free U-1060 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, California 94015 Minnesota Free U-1817 S. 3rd St., Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404 Monterey Peninsula Free U-2120 Etna Place, Monterey, California New Free U-Box ALL 303, Santa Barbara, California 93107 Northwest Free U-Box 1255, Bellingham, Washington 98225 Ohio-Wesleyan Free U-Box 47-Welsh Hall, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delevan, Ohio 43015 Pittsburgh Free U-4401 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213 Rutgers Free U-Rutgers College, Student Center, 1 Lincoln Ave., Newark, NJ 07102 St. Louis Free U-c/o Student Congress, 3rd floor BMC, St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri 63103 San Luis Obispo Free U-Box 1305, San Luis Obispo, California 94301 Santa Cruz Free U-604 River St., Santa Cruz, California 95060 Seattle Free U-4144½ University Way NE, Seattle, Washington 98105 Southern Illinois Free U-Carbondale, Illinois 62901 Valley Free U-2045 N. Wishon Ave., Fresno, California 93704 Washington Area Free U-5519 Prospect Place, Chevy Chase, Maryland 20015 and 1854 Park Rd. NW, Washington, D.C. 20010 Wayne-Locke Free U-Student Congress, University of Texas, Arlington, Texas 76010 And a complete list of experimental schools, free universities, free schools, can be obtained by sending one dollar to ALTERNATIVES! 1526 Gravenstein Highway N., Sebastopol, California 97452, and requesting the Directory of Free Schools. List of Free Universities • Macalester EXCO, St. Paul MN, Though not free, the Institute for Social Ecology ( and the Z Media Institute ( are worth checking out and will help you free your mind. MIT Open Courseware ( ) is a completely free archive of previous MIT courses and course materials available on the web or for download although it does not provide you with a degree or faculty access. It is licensed under Creative Commons ( OpenCourseWareConsortium ( ) also provides lists of free courseware in addition to promoting open university courses around the world. for participating US colleges. In the USA, many colleges grant credit or advanced standing for the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). This is a test that determines how much you already know on a topic and grants you college credit for it. It costs $65 (free if you're in the Military), but it does shave a lot of money off your tuition costs! Anarchist U ( "The Anarchist U is a volunteer-run collective which organizes a variety of courses on arts and sciences. Most courses run for ten weeks, and meet once a week; there are no admission fees. The Anarchist U follows the tradition of free schools in that it is open, non-hierarchic and questions the roles of teachers and students. Anarchist U is in Toronto ON, Canada. There is no single street address; rather different classes and meetings take place in different community centres and homes throughout the city. " Internet educational resources Universities with free educational content MIT OpenCoursewear - The original and still one of the best, provides syllabi, problem sets, lecture videos, and sometimes extensive lecture notes for regular MIT classes. John Hopkins School OpenCourseware - Great resource if you are interested in Public Health as a career move. Utah State OpenCourseware - Solid site for many lower level undergraduate classes. Tufts OpenCourseware - Another introduction to the life sciences, and public health. Open UW - Free on-line courses from the University of Washingon EcEdWeb - Free course on Economics from the University of Nebraska Whatcom Community College Math Courses Princeton University Archived Lectures - Dartmouth College, Introduction to Probability: Stanford CS Education Library - University of Pennsylvania Online Books Page - Carnegie Mellon University Open Learning Initiative - NY University: Mathematics Material - Educational podcasts Stanford - A variety of podcasts containing academic information. Webcast.Berkeley - Contains podcasts mostly of scientific courses, but a couple of humanities courses too. Other free resources Please limit the resources to the free and useful - Free education on the Internet Wikipedia - Obviously. Creative Commons - Bunch of different resources...and it's searchable. Wikiversity - Open-source textbooks and user-taught classes. Internet Archive - Searchable resource of literally thousands of documents, papers and recordings, all for free! Curriki - "Our mission is to improve education around the world by empowering teachers, students and parents with user-created, open source curricula, and it's all free!" Spanish Kit - Free on-line Spanish language course with free downloadable material for off-line studying. Word2Word - Index to on-line language courses and services. Library of Congress - Annenberg Media - (Free registration required) American Sign Language - Core Documents on U.S. Democracy - (See what those wild-eyed, free-thinking, whiskey-drinking, hemp-growing radicals were thing of!) Learn CPR - Sophia Project - ERI Distance Learning Center - (Take preview classes for free. College credit costs $29 exam fee.) A First Course in Linear Algebra - Article on Lifehacker about free on-line education: Free High School Introduction Anyone who is or was in High School knows that it is an important introduction to the unfairness and struggle of the public versus the government. The only difference between the authorities in High School and the Government is that the ones in High School screw you over more obviously. Just like in the real, post 9/11 world of Bush, freedoms are being taken away in the post-Columbine world of High School. Too many times have I seen the unfortunate victims of cruel and clever bullies punished by the authorities after they try to stand up for themselves by verbal or physical means. I know from personal experience that this can create a personal hell for students afraid to stand up for themselves. I learned and taught myself how to fight back and survive just like Abbie Hoffman did during the Vietnam War era, only his opponent was the government. As security tightens it makes High School life even harder and more unfair; why should the most high school students have to suffer because of the bad decisions of a few deranged peers? Understand that while you are a thinking human, under the US system of law you have legal rights similar to a slave. You are property of your parents until you are emancipated by a court or you reach eighteen years of age. Nowadays, if you want to survive in High School, it is important that you take advantage of every resource you have and make sure you support your brothers and sisters out there. You never know when something you do that may seem insignificant saves the life or sanity of someone down on their luck. Also, enjoy the pointers in this section on getting beer and other illegal commodities, as they are in here for fun and your enjoyment. High school is just a continuation of the school system that most westerners have experienced from kindergarten on for the last several generations. The main intent is to create a properly balanced output of workers, geniuses, artists, managers, and yes, even burnouts, to take on jobs in every level of the world. Since an orderly economy can't survive on excessive art, genius, and radicalism, expect to be punished for encouraging too many people to dedicate themselves. This CorpGov economy needs dropouts, burnouts, and slaves to work in the fast-food industry. The student body is represented by the few elected class senators who have no real influence, and ruled by teachers and principals who have almost total unchecked power. The whole high school experience trains for apathy: an important lifetime trait for a controlled and orderly society. Remember that: student elections don't mean jack, and don't expect any teacher to be your friend. Their jobs are more important than freedom. One suggestion is to break out as soon as possible. Enroll in a few advanced classes at a junior/community college or university with the permission of your counselor and/or parents; 100 and 200 level classes are really only high school level. Keep building the off-campus class load you might be able to get enough credits for an early, real college admission, skipping out on a few wasted years. Nothing you are doing in high school is worth the stay. All of the spirit and pageantry dances and sports are just a preparation for a life of submission and a few locker pep poster memories. In the end, a high school dropout with a college degree and an early GED will have the pick of profession in CorpGov. High school is not worth the pain and waste of time. Gulag Schools Parents can send their unruly kids to prison. If you have ever heard of the term tough love or reform school you will already know part of what a for profit "gulag school" is. Parents at their wits end will search out almost any promise of a solution to "repair" their broken or "mentally unadjusted" child. Some parents turn to psychoactive drugs like Ritalin or antidepressants. The reform school or boot camp is arguably worse leading to a potential lifetime of damage and depression and almost never the return to "normal behavior" that is promised by the salespeople. Some of these programs take a minor outside of the borders of the United States to places where they have no recognized human rights. Many staff members were abused in similar schools and as we know the abused often go on to abuse. See: for more information How to avoid imprisonment or escape if abducted by a "boot camp" or gulag capture/escort team: • If taken to any public place like an airport or parking area scream RAPE!! this will get attention and people might help, make all the noise you can and beg for the police, and straighten the facts out later. Buy yourself time and demand to see a lawyer once the police have you. It is correct to use full force and violence especially if you are being taken by surprise to escape, but expect the thugs to know basic hand to hand combat as well. • File for emancipation, contact a lawyer from the lawyer’s guild that can help you get out of your parents custody. If you are under threat to be disappeared to one of these POW schools it is your responsibility to take custody of yourself and out of the hands of dangerous or ignorant parents. If you must, go get a job to pay for the lawyer. Contact state, county, and local police, let them know you are under threat of being kidnapped against your will and you will fight back to protect your freedom. Stay vigilant once this threat is placed onto the table and immediately put a plan into action to seek sanctuary with someone who is not involved with and who will not inform your parents. Most adults over 25-30 including parents of your friends will buckle and turn you in once a manhunt begins and police alerts go out. Ask your lawyer for advice, but even they might turn you in. Contact county and state child welfare offices they may not always be sympathetic but at least force them to take and file a statement, memorize the case number. If you make a big stink when you find out most schools advise parents to delay enrollment to catch you off guard. Have an escape plan in place if your parents decide in the end to send you away, most snatch operations are done in between midnight and six AM when the victim student is expected to be asleep. People are most compliant to capture at this time because their brain is sleepy and moving slow. Know where every exit is (windows, doors, crawl spaces, attics, etc) and have plans to avoid your captors and their handcuffs. • • Expect most of these prison camps to be in wilderness areas, with some stashed water and warm clothing survival and evasion are very possible, see S.E.R.E. and Get the Hell Out of Dodge for some ideas. Consult a free lawyer, you might even claim asylum outside of the United States under the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. • Consider carrying some urban, wilderness, and road survival gear in your pack and keep it with you so you can run at any time (as long as this will not alert your parents to your plans), have a trusted friend keep a backup or stash one near your home, see Caching. Sleep in durable dark colored pajamas, always put your next day’s clothes into your pack, and keep quick sturdy shoes next to your bed. These prison schools are often for profit or religious operations and much like they use pressure on the prisoners/students they also lever against the parents to do the "right thing" and enroll or return their escaped child into the hands of the mercenary prison-school guards. Your parents must know that they have a right to see and remove you from the school at ANY time. Have trusted friends keep copies of a list of code words to give to your parents so you can get codes in letters past school censors if things get really bad. Your parents can go to local law enforcement (where the school is) and demand that they release you if the school will not let you go; your birth certificate is a parent’s proof of ownership (like a child could be owned) for purposes of release. Some institutions employ cameras and microphones almost everywhere as well as restricting all privacy by keeping staff guards in every room. In the paranoid environments students are often required, at risk of punishment, to report dissidents or planned escapes or themselves be punished. Use of discreet hand signals or tap code S.E.R.E.#Tap Code might let you secretly communicate in an environment where you are not allowed normal interaction with other students. Alternative Graduation Get a group of revolutionaries, raise some money, and invest in home school materials. Have your young comrades to withdraw from high school and enroll in your accredited home school program, delete all the bad grades from their transcripts give them straight A's and send them to college. One of our editors dropped out of public school at 17 with not even enough credits for an 11th grader and probably below a 1.0 grade point average, they went to a church in their neighborhood which had an accredited home school program. Eight months later they had an accredited high school diploma and a 3.3 GPA. These grades were good enough to get a full ride scholarship from the state and about two thousand dollars a semester from federal Pell grants. That two thousand was refunded in cash since the state paid the tuition and fees. Post-Secondary Enrollment Option This is the best move you can make in High School, hands down. By enrolling in PSEO, you are breaking free in a way that satisfies both you and CorpGov, allowing you more educational freedom than you have ever had. What is PSEO? PSEO is taking university classes. Not wimpy AP or Honors classes at your CorpGov high school. This is the real deal. You can take as many classes as you like and because your high school pays for your classes, it's completely free! One of our editors was a full-time PSEO student. Not only did he learn what he wanted to because he could pick what classes he wanted, he only set foot in his High School about once or twice a month! Of course, in some states you will encounter significant barriers to this. Believe us, CorpGov doesn't want to lose its hold on you! But if you stay strong and don't back down, and most often you will win yourself a good education. Homework/Classwork A good alternative to certain class homework is to find a website that has answers to questions from your text book or assignments. Also, many math text books have a section in the back with all the answers, just not the work most teachers ask for. Make sure you use it to check you answers or for help on a question you don't understand. This can be an incredibly useful tool! There are also websites such as that have tons of answers and even the work to get those answers. Hell, you may even learn a thing or two by accident. Cheating Note: Although we here at the Steal This Book Today recommend doing whatever it takes to fight CorpGov, education is still our best weapon. Why bother cheating your way through free education? Use this time of your life to get some basics down. Stupid revolutionaries are easier to catch and silence than smarter ones. That said, if you lose interest enough, or just need a slightly higher grade, use these tips to your advantage. There are many ways of cheating. Notable techniques are writing on the inside of fingers, and writing on the inside of a carefully positioned and partially drained drink container with a dark liquid such as coke or coffee or Gatorade in it. Positioning worksheets or paper with notes on them under an adjacent student's chair works well, also. It's incredibly easy to just write the answers on the desk with a pencil and erase it later. Cover it with your arm when the teachers walk by. If you are in a math class that requires a graphing calculator, use it to your advantage! Write fake programs that contain only formulas you didn't bother to memorize if you need to show your work. You can put almost any amount of notes into a program line code like this. If you don't need to show your work, write some programs (or befriend someone who can for you). offers some nifty program codes for both mathematical formulas and games. Lots of "badasses" in school write shit on their arms. Use this to your advantage! Come up with a simple code that uses symbols seemingly completely unrelated to whatever test you have to take. This can work in almost any math class in which formulas (but with no graphing calculators are allowed) are key. Also, for foreign language classes, simple symbols that represent phonetic structures can be scrawled all over your arms or hands to jog your memory for harder vocab words. Get creative! Morse code tapped with pencils or tiny hidden transmitters can be used to pool knowledge, but be careful if everyone gets the same answers wrong you are screwed. This is also probably the easiest way to get caught. Most teachers know of all the tricks and get bored by the lameness of it all. Attempt to make friends with the teachers if they're not total assholes. It'll make them a whole lot more accepting of your alibi, but realize that a lie can really explode in your face. Friends Almost everybody in high school has at least one or two good friends. By the time you get to high school, chances are you have made a good deal of friends...and it may be tough to make others. If you're friendless in your high school, don't let your desire for friendship get the best of you. Make sure that the people you keep in touch with are not using you for their benefit. The most exciting thing to flip-out people is to simply say as little as possible to those around you. People will have no idea what you are...a depressed teen, an angst-y goth-kid, a shy person, etc, etc. This will get the attention of the fringe groups (goths/punks/skaters/stoners) who are looking for another to join their rank-and-file. If you find a group you enjoy being a part of, cool...but don't let them brainwash you. Try to be personable and reliable. Find people you are interested in and be yourself around them. Chances are, if you are all decent people, you'll get along. Try to enlist in as many classes that offer inclusion with other grades as possible. There is nothing that can make you feel better about yourself than befriending some cooler older kids with cars. You'll ba able to do the same when you're their age, and become a positive force in someone else's life later on. Get involved in acting, speech, music, and writing classes to show others what your true opinions and abilities are. The more you show people what kind of person you are, the better someone similar will find you. If you get in trouble and are punished by the pigs running the school it feels good and builds spirit to have a large group of students who will be willing to protest for you. Making t-shirts and banners and distributing them in large numbers to the student population can show that the administration doesn't have full support and can lower their morale. The school can make life difficult for you for this even though they can't prove you were somehow a threat to the safety and well being of the school. Make sure kids know they can make life difficult for the administration and they can defend themselves. It is important to realize that students only have limited first amendment rights in school. The administration, on the other hand, doesn't have any at all. Beware of fair-weather friends if you are causing mischief, as many will sing like a canary once the principal gets them alone and promises they are not in trouble. Remember security culture: don't involve anyone who doesn't need to be involved. See also Security Culture and Most importantly, remember that school is not the only place to have friends. If you join organizations like Food Not Bombs or the People's army, you will make new friends, and chances are they'll be more genuine than high-schoolers. Friends don't have to be your age, and friends can be just as genuine on the Internet and outside of school. Acting Nice Nobody likes the two faced asses in this world who kiss up for advantage. Being your real self is very important but it is also useful to learn acting skills in order to exploit unenlightened adults including, your parents. If you can keep the adults around you guessing as to whether you need to be placed into a situation of increased discipline or not, your acting might be the skill that will turn the tide. Don’t throw away actions like some unrequited yard work around the house or homework to battle the possible loss of other tiny freedoms. Be careful: your acting preparation might lead you to sympathize with the other side when it is not appropriate, and you must guard against this. Basically, if you don't show off and do stupid, pointless stuff, you'll usually get away with it. And if you have to get in trouble, make sure it's something worth it and not just screwing around. Teachers There are many different kinds of teachers, each with different attitudes and grading methods. Every type of teacher views their students differently: some see them as friends, others as a pay check, and some view us as delinquents no matter what. If you are lucky enough to get an idealistic new teacher, work on becoming his or her friend. This will allow you special privileges like turning in work days late and getting high grades on poorly done projects. Keep up the abuse, however, and, unless she/he is a codependent type, they will start to feel burned and used. Wouldn't you? Teachers start out fresh and shiny but usually start to burn out after a few years, who wouldn't from the constant abuse from some students, these burnouts keep a few stars and leave the rest to sink or swim. Try to identify and avoid the worst of these teachers when planning your classes. If you fail to turn in work or fail tests they really won't care, don't expect any special effort from these teachers especially if you are an alternative type. Don't expect teacher stereotypes to hold true for all of the time with every teacher. Like you, they are individuals. Remember your teacher is a worker and a CorpGov slave; don't make your revolution on the backs of these often broken soldiers of education. Treat them as something more than a tool or obstacle and you might gain something useful out of your time with them. Blackmail In the era of constant school sex scandals attention is fortunately being paid to unwanted and abusive sexual advances. Unfortunately the systems put in place to protect the victims also becomes a weapon for an under aged abuser. Don't think you can use a false and often effective charge of abuse to destroy an innocent teacher no matter how mean or cruel they are. In two or three years once you have gained more maturity (making a false charge like this would rule out any maturity) the absolute destruction of another human will start to haunt you for the rest of your life. Causing a teacher to become homeless because of unemployment and legal defense debt, go to prison, or commit suicide is an unspeakable crime. Teachers are just CorpGov slaves like most Americans and even when burned out and useless deserve better than this. Protest Movement Many traditional forms of protest are unavailable to the individual high school student at their place of learning. Before a mass uprising strike or walk out can be engineered the student body must be woken up. Direct action in the name of your protest front can help build this solidarity. Be sure you have a cause that is worth taking direct action for, action for the sake of anarchy only denies the serious students quality learning without bringing anyone to our cause. Attention must be paid to what or who the enemy is and not just committing mass acts of sabotage. For example blacking out the homecoming football game or dance would turn a large part of the student body against your group, on the other hand blacking out power or disabling the heaters before final exams might be viewed with great favor by many. Leadership While we are mostly decentralized, there is often a need to define what the aims of your movement are and if there are concessions that you want from the administration. For organized resistance there must be both a visible leadership that can be used to rally the students, as well as a covert leadership that is hidden from the public eye just like in a POW camp. The public leadership is just a figurehead, a decoy. As we all know, the cops and administration all want to find a "ringleader" that can be eliminated to stop the distraction. This is why the public leadership must fulfill the following list: They must be prepared for any and all administrative action against them. They are the decoy and all action will be directed against them. They must be trusted completely and trust completely. If captured, and if the movement is strong enough, there will be an effort to oust other members. Remember: never talk! A common tactic of police is to tell you that a buddy of your talked. Don't believe it! Even if it is true (unlikely), you can deal with the person later, after you get out. Above all: DO NOT TALK! The public leadership must be able to function on its own. There will be times when the best laid plans go awry and the two leaderships are cut off. The public leadership cannot, absolutely cannot, freeze like a deer in the headlights. Only with coordinated, concentrated, well-thought-out, organized, knowledgeable, decisive leaders will you succeed. Yes, the main body of the movement is important, but without leaders, nothing will happen. Look at the Children's Revolution of the 70's, Abbie's revolution. They didn't have an organized leadership and thus: nothing changed. Things have even gotten worse. If any of these are unfilled, the entire movement can, and most likely will, fall apart. The public leadership also can take care of propaganda, and other such things, freeing up the covert leadership to focus on strategy for demonstrations, protests, and other direct action. To boil it all down into a couple simple sentences: the public leadership takes care of everything public, everything that is (generally) legal, if disruptive. The covert leadership focuses on everything that is possibly illegal: flash demonstrations, protests, Black Blocs, riot planning, logistics, finance, etc. Another good practice is to carefully test/train the covert leadership/division to be as normal as possible. If there are any discrepancies in their behavior, the police will snap them up like flies. Also, it would be a good idea for the public division not to know who the members are in the covert division, and for the covert division to not know more than a couple other people in their division. At least, until necessary. This reduces the risk of mass arrests. However, to offset the paranoia of the last paragraph, remember this as well: Communication is the key! Without communication, everything falls apart. Simple as that and no more to say. Targets There are several targets to make your presence felt by the teachers and students. • PA System- if you can wire into the punch down board and have a remote activation of the system your message can be heard any time you want, expect your modifications to the system to be disabled within a few days of your first use. Cable TV- If your school has the hallway closed circuit cable you can often override the signal with your own or take over the computer creating the signal. Utilities- Many states require operational water, sewer, electricity, and heating systems for classes to be held. Keys- Many facilities have master keys which open just about everything in the school, try to lift off of janitors or principals. School Computer Network- Get involved with so-labeled 'nerds', and use their knowledge to hack the system. With this, you could do almost anything as far as spreading our cause. The hackers are by the hacker code of ethics anarchist. They can also get some nice technology for your cause... • • • • Printing Not really a take down target, more of a resource, although a well timed print order of radical content to every printer in school might be useful, although it will surely increase security making abuse more difficult. But realy one of the easiest things to obtain for free at high schools is printing for our cause. Printers are not really watched over. So find an abandoned printer, and do with it what you will. Print hundreds of STW’s flyers, for instance. In Internet Communications we discuss network hacking a printer from across the cube farm or across the world. Most good IT managers lock that printer network port or server like Fort Knox to unauthorized users, but did you notice any other ports on the back of the printer? You will likely see at least one of the following a USB port, a parallel port, and you might be in luck and see a little black plastic window somewhere on the front or side about half an inch, that is an IR port. Write down the printer make and model number, have the right drivers installed before you start!! Now waltz in with your laptop or PDA(that has USB) plug in and print, with IR it is even easier, from across the room beam a postscript, PDF, or text file to the printer and grab the results once it finishes. Cameras Cameras seem to be everywhere today. It would be nice to take a few out and allow free action zones to our movement. Since walking up and smashing or even lasing a camera directly will leave your face or at least body type and gait on the tape you will need to be more sneaky. A stickpin through the coax cable or just cutting the wires will take the camera out for a short time. Make it very expensive for the principal to play 1984 at your school, Don't talk about your delightful work lest your dumbass classmates nark you out, there will be a police investigation if you get too effective. Leaving Home Before you decide to walk out or not realize that this is a very serious decision, review The Street to see the dangers of jumping out unprepared. You have decided to bail, what is your motivation for making it only a week away and then returning? If it is leverage against the folks be prepared for it to backfire. If you want to take control and are ready to have to face the courts to defend it do the following (may vary from state to state): • • • • • • • • • • • Go the GED office of your community college and sign up for the test right now(you may have to be 18) Pass the GED test; you will be free of High School Take entrance exam if required at community college (even if you can't take your GED) Enroll for a term Begin preparing your application essays and documents for several serious universities (Evergreen is one good choice) Find an apartment/room and if you must get a part time job Take the SAT as soon as possible File for emancipation or make a sham marriage with a cool partner who also wants out (or who you really want to marry) take a vacation to a place that allows underage marriage. Emancipation is automatic for underage marriage in almost all states. Once you are emancipated you can get student aid based on your own finances Get admitted to a real college with a few credits taken care of already Graduate and run away from America for 10 years or more after blowing off the student loans!! If you fail to plan your departure well you can expect a rough entry into the real world, again please read out The Street chapter. Difficulty in finding housing alone has lead many teen break-aways to unfortunate circumstances moving in with predators who open their doors only to trap new victims or returning to abusive guardians. Do as much pre-planning as time permits, but do not let yourself remain in a dangerous or abusive situation. There are many organizations that will help a teen escape abuse but as always be ready to bail. Never accept help that involves locking you into a "secure" school or overnight dorm, your freedom is as important as your safety, sometimes these "safe" dorms are places of rape and abuse. Called Into the Principal Our activities will likely land us in the principals interrogation chamber, the purpose of a school is order and indoctrination, no matter how liberal the staff they are also trained to maintain that order. What to do when you get called out of class: You will want to prepare a good argument in advance and carry a tape or digital recorder with you to record the conversation just incase the principal says something fascist so you can use it against him later. You may also want to bring something down for moral support, when I got called down I brought my copy of Orwell's 1984 to remind me why I stand up for what I believe in. When talking to your principal or assistant principal during a call in be sure of a few things: • Match their mood, if they're polite, be polite, if they act like an asshole act like an asshole right back, if they give you respect, give them respect. Normally they have some training to keep their cool in a situation like this, but if they don't egg them on in a smart way, especially if you have a tape recorder running. If they do keep it cool it does you no good to make a scene in their office. Keep your cool, before you go in have in mind what you want to say. This will give you some preparation; ask to use the bathroom to buy time if needed. Also be careful, most administrators will try to throw you off balance during the conversation. Keep in mind what you're down there for and remember that you believe in what you're doing. Don't back down; stand up for what you believe in. • • School Paper Most high school papers are rags barely worthy of wiping with, since the censor oversight prevents discussion of any serious topic. The most serious topic is prom decorations and football scores. It is still often possible for an impassioned writer to be allowed an occasional editorial article so take a chance, make the most of your opportunity proof and have your piece reviewed before submitting it. Another option is to form a activist club of some sort. With the current white liberal political correctness movement minority and environmentalist target clubs will be given much greater freedom of speech from the administration for fear of bad press. What’s the benefit to accepting occasional administration oversight and a teacher advisory? You will normally receive a small media budget including printing access as well as possibly even time off from class and school assembly address time or PA system access for your message. There is no reason your underground can't have a "legit" public front like this, as you divert some resources to your underground movement. The Cafeteria School cafeterias are some of the easiest places to rip off. While in line waiting to pay, many people eat some of their food. If you eat most of your food, you pay substantially less money. You can even wait until nobody is looking and just walk to your seat. Simple things like these can save you thousands of dollars a year. Keep in mind when you steal from high school cafeterias that lunch ladies are not hired for their intelligence so sometimes grabbing some extra food when you buy a lunch and the cashier may not even notice it on your tray. If you want to be more careful simply stuff it in a pocket/purse or hold it at your side out of view and it might go unnoticed (this works a lot better than you would think.), or simply hide smaller items beneath a packet of crisps or something. This is zero-risk, as long as you can afford everything you're stealing, because it is not obvious you are trying to steal at all. In some cafeterias there is an 'in' and an 'out' line. You walk in one, past the counter and back the other way to pay. It’s super easy to jack from these. Just walk up, calmly take your pick, and walk out the way you came. This is best done when it is crowded and busy so that you can be easily lost in the crowd if you happen to be spotted. If you have a sweet tooth and your school has a separate booth for junk food and other random food items ask for an item that requires the cashier to turn his/her back and stuff you pockets with as much food as possible while their back is turned. Often the food line or bar will go unattended for brief periods during which you can simply go up and grab a few items. If you want a free drink wait until the cashier is busy and go up and grab a milk and tell her you forgot to grab yours with your lunch. Normally she will just let you go since she is preoccupied with paying customers. Keep in mind, however, that this cannot be done too often. If you are ever caught by a lunch lady, it is important that you are apologetic so that you do not attract the attention of any nearby teachers and you may be able to get off with a warning. If you are unfortunate enough to have the lunch lady demand your name you can simply give her a fake name assuming there are no witnesses around that will bust you later; if you cannot risk giving her a fake name, don't sweat it, the normal punishment for food thieves at high school lunches is a slap on the wrist and you may be required to write an apology to the lunch ladies. If this is the case, have fun writing a ridiculous and overly dramatic letter and go back to stealing when you feel comfortable with it again. Another way to get free food that is fun is to save up enough pennies for a lunch and get at the head of a busy lunch line. When you get to the cashier, pull out the pennies in a bag and begin to slowly count them out. If you're lucky, and slow enough, the kid immediately behind you will freak out and may insist on paying for your lunch. This is also a good way to cause chaos in the lunch room if you can get a group of people to do it at every line. Beer and Liquor Ah yes, the Amerikan way of life! Old enough to pilot a 3 ton car, yet too young to drink! While the Vietnam War brought many drinking ages down from 21 to 18 or 19, the neo-fascists (who were in bed with Motherfuckers Against Drunk Driving) raised it back up in the mid 80's, citing an increase in anti-social behavior and DUI's. Today, it is illegal in all 50 states in Amerika to purchase or have in your possession any alcohol intended for oral consumption if you are under 21. Keep in mind that in some states, such as Arizona, it is legal to drink at home under adult consent, such as for religious reasons. If your "parent" is cool, use them to assist your acquisition of alcohol... legally! Parties and the Pigs What the average person fails to realize is that most states have NO laws regarding being drunk in private! Yes, you and your 5 year old brother can be sloppy drunk in most states in a private house or establishment and the pigs can't do a thing unless they see you hold a container of alcohol! Now a quick word on the pigs: Usually, most don't really care about underage drinking. They don't go out looking for it like they do with grass or meth. Furthermore, unless you are drinking in a car or drinking outside (a punishable offense regardless of age in most states) or attending a loud party where pigs are dispatched to, your chances of being busted are somewhere around zero. If a beer run goes bad with a fake ID, they will not call the pigs on you. If the clerk is an undercover pig (very rare), they would have to come across a desk to nab you. If the Amerikan jackboot pigs ever bust down the door during a party and starts asking for your papers, don't sweat it. If you can access a bathroom before they see you, go to it, lock the door and turn on the shower. They're not likely to bust down the door to get an underage kid if there's a chance a naked tax-paying citizen is taking a shower. If you can't access a lavatory, this is OK, too. Make sure all cups are away from you, hide your wallet under the couch, and when the thug gets to you, empty your pockets and say "I didn't bring my ID with me". They might ask you a couple of questions, but remember, they can't do anything to you in most states unless you were holding alcohol, and it's not worth it to them to send a 17 year old drinker downtown if they have don't have any proof of age. Also be aware that the pigs will often tell you that they saw you drinking. What most kids don't realize is that cops are legally able to lie to you to make you confess. Keep denying that you were drinking (even if you were), and, if you actually weren't, tell them you know they can lie to you, and that you've lost respect for them because of this. They can't do anything about that, now can they? Fake ID Now, of course any young man or woman can steal Daddy's bottle of peppermint schnapps, but it takes real thought to have an unlimited source of booze. While the fake ID is becoming less and less common due to the Government's cracking down on immigration and terrorism, all is not lost. A high-quality fake ID can still be found; just ask around on Internet message boards. A good ID with a real state hologram will usually run from $100-$200. The number one thing to remember is to play the age. Memorize the fake ID's birthday, address, and other important information. Wear somewhat decent clothing. Actually, many fake ID dealers will customize them, putting your own name, birthday (obviously not the year) and more on. When looking for a store to use a fake ID/no ID in Amerika, avoid nice looking or chain stores. Chain stores tend to train their employees much more for spotting underage purchasers. It's much better to hit up Jimbob's Corner Store and pay an extra $1.50 for a six-pack than to lose a fake ID at Wal-Fart. A good idea is to see if you have any older friends, or buddies with older brothers, who look like you. Stick to the memorization bit and, if it's a close enough match, you're fine. Also, while it may suck, do not attempt to buy underage in liquor stores in Vermont, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Utah, Washington State, or Oregon. All hard alcohol in those places is sold in CorpGov-run liquor stores...the whole point of that being that when profits are taken out of the equation. There is little incentive in selling to young'uns. These places are also equipped with ID scanners, black lights, and knowledgeable staff. In all of these states, however, you can buy beer and low alcohol wine in corner stores. Five finger discounting If you're out of luck, you can try lifting some brews from fat-cats like Wal-Fart and grocery stores. Be forewarned: These places pay special attention to the beer/wine sections with cameras. Plus, it's pretty damn difficult to swipe a six-pack. Perhaps the best way to acquire beer/wine/spirits is to work at a convenience or grocery store. In many states, you'll have a difficult time handling booze until you're 18, so you may be stuck as a bagger or a stocker. No fear: occasionally access the beer cooler from the stocking side, grab a 12 pack and hide it until quitting time. If you have a job as a cashier, you have it made. Tell your friends/relative/minister to go inside, purchase the preferred choice of alcohol, pretend to "card" them, and that's that. 24 cans of bliss waiting for you after work! The same works for cancerettes as well. Just be forewarned that if you are caught selling to a minor, you're pretty fucked and out of a job. If you're a courtesy clerk (read: bagger), just mishandle a six-pack a bit. If you break one bottle, the store managers will have you put the rest in the back for later. Then when your shift is over, you can head back and grab it. Or, if it's too risky for you, send a friend back instead. Brewing There is something truly Revolutionary about making your own beer. For about $100 in equipment and about $20 of supplies for every 5 gallons of brew, along with some instructions from the Internet, you can make [Insert Name Here]'s Pigfuck Ale! There is nothing dangerous about making your own brew, most stories about people going blind or dying were over-embellished stories about moonshiners making hard liquor in their car radiators (made with lead). If you like harder stuff you can start with buying a good culture of wine or beer yeast in packets. A fast yeast and fruit juice will make a batch of wine, which will leave a good hangover, in about a week. If this is not concentrated enough get a kettle with a narrow spout, food grade tubing, marbles or shiny aquarium pebbles, and a metal 3-4 liter olive oil can(or other food grade container). Connect the tube to the kettle spout and run the tube into the can filled with pebbles, a hole punched into the bottom will drip liquor into your container. Keep the kettle liquid temp between 78 and 100 Celsius degrees in the kettle. With practice and mixing other ingredients, very nice liquor can be produced in your own home. This is just to show you how simple it is to start, now buy a book or do some research to make a good non-disgusting brew or shine don't sweat the failures we all had them, just keep trying. Just remember not to drink and drive/boat/bicycle, unless you want to be president. Drugs See Free Dope for a look at drugs, more realistic than what they teach in the school assemblies and health classes. Remember that if you are depressed, in danger, or homeless drugs are not the answer but can make your situation much worse. If you are experimenting for the first time: • • • Try with someone close to you who also has some drug experience Be in a safe comfortable location Be in a good mood without any worries hanging over you. In high school you brain is still growing, don't do the hard drugs they can really fuck you up and leave you in the gutter or prison, stick to grass and shrooms, even acid and especially X (which is a kind of speed) should be taken in the smallest doses until you figure them out. It goes without saying that Rytalin and Adderal are counted in the hard drugs to mostly avoid. Depression High school is full of the social climbing and crushing competition games that will follow many people for the rest of their lives if they choose to follow the CorpGov blue/white collar model. Most high-schoolers reading this book are likely grouped into the looser class for being a little too intellectual or withdrawn. Fuck those stuck up assholes. Get tight with your real friends and walk down the halls of your school with pride; you are on average a standard deviation in IQ higher than the average stuck up homecoming queen or party boy. The world will move under you while those who seem to be all powerful now will live a life of store clerking or tire salesman. Meditate, learn to breathe, exercise, and find something you do well, music is a major therapy. Never let some 12 step fool or counselor make you believe you are crazy, an addict or worthless, lie to them if you must. You control your own life; that is the way it must be and will be. Suicide In the past few years, high-school suicide rates have gone up dramatically. The CorpGov media won't touch the subject and little is being done to combat it. Remember, the light at the end of the tunnel is not the flash of a gun. The light at the end of the tunnel is the light of freedom. The light of choice. The light of life. Maybe it's your own reflection! The hardest thing you can do is work out the situation you are in and keep trucking. But it's worth it. It's always worth it. Our lives are more precious and valuable than any of us ever realize. A life is worth more than some girl or boy, more than revenge, more than money or property. Your life is valuable to yourself, your friends, your society, your people, to us. Even the realization of CorpGov's dream (Orwell's 1984), should never make you think of taking your life. If ever you are made to feel worthless, ugly, or somehow or other unworthy of something, remember: Belief changes from culture to culture, society to society. If you are made to feel bad about yourself, it isn't your fault; it's the fault of the society you live in! The system really wants you dead!! Fight it! Don't let the machine kill you, KILL THE MACHINE!! Join the anti-CorpGov resistance and help other people realize how much they are worth! Free College Life Intro College is your escape from your and high school, it is also your one big opportunity to turn your mind on and escape from the blinders erected by your education from preschool until now. The saddest use for your time in college is to study a trade, engineering and computer science even medical school are all just that, a technical education that might pay quite well while you feel like you are wasting your life just like the janitor does until you retire and die never making a real difference. University should be used as your one corpgov approved and financed chance to open and build your mind, not a rumspringa before a life of enslavement. Freshman Shock For most students going directly from high school and their parents home in the suburbs straight to an out of state university campus experience a bit of culture shock and they freak out. Freaking out is OK and can be fun as long as you don't make any mistakes that you will regret. Be conservative when experimenting with drugs and partying in an environment where you no longer have parents to face in the morning. Experimenting with self control and motivation can also be a rewarding experience. It is important to remember to keep your grades at a minimum level in order that you do not loose scholarships, student aid, or even be placed on academic probation. We hate to see smart people forced back to junior college for a few terms so they can get their grades back up because of too much partying. Another victim of the freshman freak out is the many young men and women who may have had a reputation as being shy, geeky, or introverted that followed them through high school. It could be that while your reputation pinched your social interaction in high school your desire to make a new start with new people who have no idea about you combined with someone who may shower you with surprising attention. How many of us ended up giving it up for the first time way too easily just because some random older guy who showed us some sweet attention for a week or two and we wanted to be big girls with them. A few months later when you are less naive you will realize that most schools are crawling with guys with a life mission to play head games with young women just so they can get lots of easy sex for sport and social standing among their mates. Study Important fields of study are philosophy, journalism, and global studies these and other soft liberal arts which are not designed to directly get you a job but rather to form your mind into a useful and dangerous tool. Economics and finance are key fields to master as the operation of the world is based upon their flow and power. History of regions and periods other than our own provide modeling to the behavior of those in power and how they appear to continually repeat themselves; knowing the conditions and outcomes of events can help you analyze the present. Psychology if not engaged too deeply is useful for helping determine the motivations of groups and individuals, strive to understand beyond the politicized theories and take the useful tools hidden within. Law classes or even better an intern with a lawyer who will help you understand modern (broken)legal theory is a must. Travel It is vitally important to experience large parts of your education not only out of state but outside of the United States. Europe is usually chosen by exchange students for fun tourism reasons although valuable lessons can be learned there, the Middle East, Latin America, Asia, and Africa all offer much diversity that is vital to understanding freedom and oppression and how to live under both. China especially is an important learning laboratory to view aspects of the future planned for the United States. Downside Do not be discouraged to find that some aspects of college hearken back to high school. The majority of the student body rejects enlightenment and will stay true to their programming as working drones in the world economic hive. Find others who are fighting for their freedom and help them break free from their left and right wing blinders. A word of caution, those who may at first appear to be radical and free in university can often be members of an old fossilized leftist orthodoxy unable and unwilling to change, these faculty and their entranced student followers, much like the College Republicans, are often dogmatic and unable to see or allow any point of view other than their party line. Avoid too much close contact with these groups as they have been known to cruelly attack those who stray from their one true path, but use them when you need bodies for demonstrations or actions. These people have long lost most of their burning urge for truth and now enjoy the power they have acquired and the safety of a university tenure. Many wonderful stories, tactics, and lessons can still be learned by a true freedom fighter from the words of these washed up former rebels. Warning We have known very radical freshmen to become mellowed and conventional by the time their four years is over. We are talking about very direct action alternate lifestyle types. At some of the most liberal private leadership schools you will likely be taught the importance of working within the system. There can be merit in this for those who are seeking power inside the system, but we are here to break the broken system. Do not become a gelding to the system, subvert from inside if you like but be fearless and ruthless. Student Loans Student loans are of the perpetual debt slavery system in the United States. This obligation along with home, auto, and credit card debt make it impossible to step outside the system beyond short vacations for fear of loosing ones job and therefore ones whole life and accumulated material wealth. Fear not, as the system stands even if you were to never pay another cent to these despicable rate changing and illegal penalty gouging student loan accumulation banks and funds who are guaranteed full repayment by the federal treasury for unpaid loans. An excellent way to disavow your debt is to move to another country for around five years. The inconvenience of tracking a defaulted loan over international borders is often too much work for these funds who can just as easily write them off and get federal reimbursement. After several years you can approach the banks and offer a settlement at between ten and twenty to one ratios. Student loans are not cleared by bankruptcy and will damage your ability to take on new debt in the corpgov system, be sure you are leaving behind substantial consumer debt when you default on the student loans. Alcohol/Tobacco/Drugs Although in many (read: most) High Schools, Alcohol/Tobacco/Drugs is easy to get, however college is a paradise, full of drugs and booze. Also, use the student health center as frequently as possible to score free shrink trips, and a bounty of prescriptions. Usually you're required to be covered by Mommy and Daddy's insurance or by a college health plan. Many colleges often have doctors that are paid off by the Medical Empire, so acquiring scripts for great drugs such as Adderall (legal amphetamines prescribed for ADD), Xanax, Ambien, and Ritalin are pretty easy. Just visit the prescription drug's website, find out what they prescribe them for, then come up with a good story. Hell, that's what Rush Limbaugh did! Once you have done this, you have a steady flow of pills to consume yourself or sell to others. Money Many colleges have work-study programs sponsored by the Federal Empire. You'll get paid federal minimum wage, but you're exempt from some taxes. Also, look at selling blood/plasma. Plasma is a lucrative business for short-term cash, ranging from $30-$200 per time depending on circumstances or the blood bank's need. Also, smoking grass after giving blood/plasma increases the high. Donating sperm is a way to quick cash as well. Unlike blood donation, sperm can be donated every 4 days. Furniture The pickings are good as a college student in terms of furniture. No longer will you have to rely on milk crates and boxes for your home decor, just wait until the end of the semester when yuppies move out of their apartments. You'd be surprised how fast a station wagon fills up with shelves, TV's, and fans just by passing by a dorm or student apartments. Get Involved If you are in college and you spend a lot of time in your housing...GET OUT! There are dozens, if not hundreds of student organizations on every campus, for every faith, political affiliation, and hobby out there. One of the most militant national student organizations is the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). There are hundreds of SDS chapters out there and the kids are ready for revolution. They hold a national convention every year where major decisions for the organization are made, though many chapters are forming local councils to coordinate actions in their city or region. You can find more about SDS at: Also, note that it is very easy to provide an "alternative viewpoint" on campus radio stations. Probably 1/2 of Amerikan Universities have them. If yours doesn't, go to a campus nearby. Chances are, they have one and an empty shift at 2 am. An advantage to doing the 2 am slots: You can speak freely about drug use and talk to stoners and nerds that are awake at that hour, these time slots are rarely monitored by any college higher-ups. Free Medical Care Kitchen Cabinet Pharmacy Here are ways to take care of your body even if you are very short on funds. Some information is from our experience and some is from our favorite wellness and treatment guide "Where There Is No Doctor" by the Hesperian Society see the PDF link below. Vinegar Vinegar is a Miracle Drug, and it is one of the cheapest things in the grocery store. Rubbed into your underarms and pubes it slows the growth of bacteria that make you smell all funky -- you can use it to have at least a cleanish day if you're not carrying any deodorant. Rubbed on your face it is very effective against acne. It can also be used to treat all sorts of skin infections, from crotch rot to athletes' foot. Warm vinegar water is a good soak for skin infections, but if your skin is tender from an advanced infection, it will sting like fire, so fold a bandanna or washcloth, wet it good with water, and put a small sprinkle of vinegar on it, and gently pat yourself down if your skin is red and tender. Sluice down your feet with it and rub the vinegar in hard between your toes if you have, or even might get, Athletes' Foot. It works in about three good applications over a couple of days, on even advanced infections, much faster than drugstore creams. If your skin is cracked and bleeding, though, you're screwed and you need the drugstore creams or even medical assistance. Vinegar is a powerful food acid, and will sting the living shit out of raw, tender skin, so test out a goodly dab on you first to see how bad off you are before your screams echo in the bathroom, or behind the church, or wherever.... Baking Soda Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a good wet or dry deodorant for the crotch and armpits it is also easy on the skin. Baking soda is also a toothpaste powder, a quick effective antacid, add to your wash bucket with the soap to deodorize your clothes and bedding. Just don't try to combine baking soda with vinegar. They produce a great deal of foamy bubbles when mixed. Rubbing Alcohol Rubbing alcohol can be used for cleaning out wounds and cuts if you don't have iodine solution but it burns like hell and is not as effective. It can bring relief from a cold or fever when rubbed down after a bath. Just remember that it is a combustible liquid, and has been denatured to keep people from drinking it (You WILL get violently sick if you do!) and you can use it as fuel if you make a soft drink can stove. Witch Hazel Witch Hazel is an excellent (and cheap!) astringent, and is good for stopping up shaving cuts and reducing hemorrhoids. Zinc Oxide Zinc Oxide can be used to make a sunblock cream like old school lifeguards would wear on their nose. Oil of cloves is good to numb a sore tooth. Mix oil of clove and zinc oxide into a clay, stuff it into a dry lost filling cavity, then bite down on a cotton ball for a half hour to make a well fitted temporary filling good for up to six months. Charcoal We are not talking about the commercial nuggets you buy in stores, most charcoal in stores has chemicals added to it to help it burn. We are talking about burning a slice of bread to cinders on a stove top (wait until there are no more orange flames coming from it). Both can either be chewed(when cool) and swallowed or crushed and mixed into a glass of water and drunk(gritty but quick). The charcoal absorbs the toxins from an intestinal infection giving your bowel a rest. Taking charcoal when you have diarrhea is the answer in addition, to drinking clean or purified water and light soup, for returning to health. Be careful not to take anti-diarrhea medications unless you have a very mild case. The idea is to let your body eliminate the bad stuff inside you instead of hardening it up and leaving it in you to keep you sick. Acidophilus If you have a fungal infection on any part of your body give acidophilus a shot before seeing a doctor. It works wonders by displacing the fungal organisms and then staying to defend their new territory. Acidophilus is either available from health stores as a powder in a capsule which is either eaten or broken open and applied wet or in active culture yogurt which can be rubbed onto to unbroken skin. Salt Water Soak While epson salts are best even regular table salt and very warm (not burn yourself hot) water is a great way to soak out an infection or stiff joint or muscle. For a hand or foot just use a bucket and add salt until a drop tastes very salty If you need to soak your body and have no bathtub get the smallest kids inflatable pool you can find or a wash tub, place it on an insulating layer of cardboard or sleeping mats, inside a tent if it is winter. Add a gallon or two of cold water to protect the pool and boil up a gallon or two in a metal bucket over a camp stove or hotplate (you might need to wrap the outside of the bucket with many wraps of foil and cardboard and make some kind of lid so it will hold it's heat) add cold water to the pool until water is cooled to the hottest you can safely stand then add salt. Have a friend heating more water to keep your soak warm. Natures Pharmacy If you are out in the country or even near a park or woodlot you can access the bounty of nature to heal your body. • Diarrhea. Drink tea made from the roots of blackberries and their relatives to stop diarrhea. White oak bark and other barks containing tannin are also effective. However, use them with caution when nothing else is available because of possible negative effects on the kidneys. You can also stop diarrhea by eating white clay or campfire ashes. Tea made from cowberry or cranberry or hazel leaves works too. Antihemorrhagics. Make medications to stop bleeding from a poultice of the puffball mushroom, from plantain leaves, or most effectively from the leaves of the common yarrow or woundwort (Achillea millefolium). Antiseptics. Use to cleanse wounds, sores, or rashes. You can make them from the expressed juice from wild onion or garlic, or expressed juice from chickweed leaves or the crushed leaves of dock. You can also make antiseptics from a decoction of burdock root, mallow leaves or roots, or white oak bark. All these medications are for external use only. • • • Fevers. Treat a fever with a tea made from willow bark, an infusion of elder flowers or fruit, linden flower tea, or elm bark decoction. Colds and sore throats. Treat these illnesses with a decoction made from either plantain leaves or willow bark. You can also use a tea made from burdock roots, mallow or mullein flowers or roots, or mint leaves. Aches, pains, and sprains. Treat with externally applied poultices of dock, plantain, chickweed, willow bark, garlic, or sorrel. You can also use salves made by mixing the expressed juices of these plants in animal fat or vegetable oils. Itching. Relieve the itch from insect bites, sunburn, or plant poisoning rashes by applying a poultice of jewelweed (Impatiens biflora) or witch hazel leaves (Hamamelis virginiana). The jewelweed juice will help when applied to poison ivy rashes or insect stings. It works on sunburn as well as aloe vera. Sedatives. Get help in falling asleep by brewing a tea made from mint leaves or passionflower leaves. Hemorrhoids. Treat them with external washes from elm bark or oak bark tea, from the expressed juice of plantain leaves, or from a Solomon's seal root decoction. Constipation. Relieve constipation by drinking decoctions from dandelion leaves, rose hips, or walnut bark. Eating raw daylily flowers will also help. Worms or intestinal parasites. Using moderation, treat with tea made from tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) or from wild carrot leaves. Gas and cramps. Use a tea made from carrot seeds as an antiflatulent; use tea made from mint leaves to settle the stomach. Antifungal washes. Make a decoction of walnut leaves or oak bark or acorns to treat ringworm and athlete's foot. Apply frequently to the site, alternating with exposure to direct sunlight. • • • • • • • • • Infections If the infection is making you feel sick go to a clinic or emergency room! If there is a red streak going up your arm or leg or the lymph nodes swell up when you have an infected wound this is a sign of an advanced infection again get help! Some infections require intravenous antibiotics pills are not enough and to not get them may kill you once the infection gets systemic in your blood. Treat all infections immediately with antiseptics, vinegar, hot salt soaks, or antibiotic ointments while they are small; pimples, ingrown hairs, scrapes and cuts, ingrown toenails, etc. these can all get serious nasty and take you out of action. Antibiotics If you need antibiotics for an infection or illness and you really know what you are doing there is currently(2007) an exemption for veterinary fish antibiotics. These are available both at pet stores and online, do research and find about the brand before buying, some just divert regular meds from the human antibiotic supply chain, you can run the numbers found on the pills to find out more. If the antibiotics are expired it is usually not a problem it will just be less effective two or more years after the printed expiration date, the exception is tetracyclene which becomes somewhat toxic. Obtain a few bottles or packs of these meds before you or a friend needs them, this is better than being unable to find a free clinic or depending on unresearched stuff from the neighborhood pet shop. Urinary Tract and Bladder Infections If you have cloudy urine, pain in urination and frequent need to urinate you likely have a urinary tract infection. The most likely cause is you have become dehydrated, even in cool weather, you need to drink more clean water. If these are the only symptoms try chugging water and pure (unsweetened) cranberry juice or crushed cranberries, if you can't get unsweetened cranberry juice you can add lemon juice or vinegar to your water to make it very tart, this will acidify your urine and help fight the infection, sugar in you food or drinks will just feed the infection. If you begin to feel abdominal or lower back pain, blood in the urine, fever or chills, or worse yet swelling of the feet or face you are in trouble, the infection has gotten to the bladder and possibly the kidneys, you need antibiotics NOW! Skin Afflictions • • • • For afflictions and infections which are hot and painful treat with hot moist towel (Hot Compresses) elevate and treat if infected. If the area itches, stings, or oozes treat it with ice water soaked(cold compresses), if scabs form add 2tablespons of vinegar per litre of water, once it begins to heal salv with a talcum powder/water paste, as it begins to thicken or flake you can soften the skin with vegetable oil. For bad itching an oatmeal paste or dyphenhydramine (Beandryl) might help. If a rash or redness appears where it is regularly exposed to sunlight cover it until it heals If a rash appears in an area which is normally covered from sun, let it sun for 20 minutes two to three times a day Sores and Abscesses Infected Sores • • • • • Use warm (salted if possible) water to soak, soften, and remove infected yellow scabs Leave the sores open to the air or cover with light dry bandages You can apply topical antibiotic (like Neosporin and the like) or vinegar Watch for swollen lymph nodes or lines running up your infection this is a danger sign, you need a doctor and antibiotics. Don't scratch on infected sores or around them, it can spread the infection to other parts of your body. If you get an abscess which is a deeper skin infection with pus you are already in trouble. Abscesses are common in IV drug users but stepping on a nail or getting a deep thorn or wood sliver wound can cause them too. • • • • Put a hot compress on the wound as often as possible or give it a hot soak several times a day. Let the Abscess break itself open and drain the pus NEVER try to pop or squeeze an abscess! it can cause a local infection to go into the blood! Watch for swollen lymph nodes or lines running up your infection this is a danger sign, you need a doctor to lance it and antibiotics. Tooth Abscesses If you get a cavity that becomes a tooth abscess and no dentist will see you try to at least get on antibiotics, the tooth will probably have to come out before it destroys your jaw, spreads to your other teeth, infects your skull bones, or gives you blood poisoning. If the old string pull method doesn't work look for a strong friend and filed down dull horizontal side cutter wire snips that will grip around the base of a molar. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, brush your teeth and floss. Cold Injury People forced out into the streets are at high risk to cold injury, many hospitals will illegally turn away the homeless and there are few other places that will allow them to even remove their shoes to rewarm and dry their feet. Alcohol and many drugs contribute to cold injury as does malnutrition, diabetes, dehydration, and low calorie diets. Trench Foot Affected feet become numb and then turn red or blue. As the condition worsens, they may swell. Advanced immersion foot often involves blisters and open sores, which lead to fungal infections; this is sometimes called jungle rot. If left untreated, immersion foot usually results in gangrene, which can require amputation. If immersion foot is treated properly, complete recovery is normal, though it is marked by severe short-term pain when feeling is returning. Like other cold injuries, immersion foot leaves sufferers more susceptible to it and frostbite in the future due to damaged capillaries in the extremity. Immersion foot is easily prevented by keeping the feet warm and dry, and changing socks three to four times a day when the feet cannot be kept dry. As quickly as possible get to a warm dry place where you can keep the feet elevated. Frost Bite Frost bite is the result of freezing fluids in the body. Most at risk are the fingers toes and ears followed by other parts of the extremities. DO NOT RUB OR SLAP FROZEN EXTREMITIES this will greatly reduce the chance of successful recovery. Get to a hospital for treatment. If there is no possibility of proper hospital care thaw the frozen areas in lukewarm water only if there is no chance of refreezing, this will be very painful. There is a danger of gangrene and some damage might need to be amputated. There has been some recent clinical success in using leaches to draw blood through damaged capillaries to the finger and toe tips. Stretching and Massage Many lower back problems and knee pains can be greatly reduced or eliminated with proper stretching and calisthenics in the morning. Most important in calisthenics is situp crunches which build the abdominal muscles supporting the lower back. Hamstring muscle stretches where you slowly touch your toes when standing and calf muscle stretches where assume the lunge position will reduce many back and knee problems. Stretching the trapezius muscles of your upper back and neck by arm cross overs will help with upper back strain. Learning the science and art of massage is a good way to keep your friends in good health, especially considering the places we sometimes have to sleep. Olive oil is good massage oil, you can heat it with scented herbs for aromatherapudic properties then filter and place in a squirt bottle. You will quickly be able to feel the tensed muscle fibers that need to be worked, some people need a hard massage others require a more gentle touch. Practice makes perfect. It is nice to teach the art so you can trade off with your friends. Winter Blues Unless you are in a tropical location winter is the hardest time to survive any of our alternative or low income housing strategies. Besides freezing our asses off and dealing with moisture, mold, and illness there is another problem that often leads to many depression, drug use, and even suicide. SAD, SDD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder strikes in the months of the year when clouds, short days, and staying indoors reduces our sunlight exposure. Even worse is when we are often forced to cover over our windows to prevent detection of our squats or to replace broken windows. Alternatively the cheapest apartment rooms often have little natural lighting denying needed sunlight. SAD may set in so slowly you don't notice your sluggishness until you find yourself almost confined to bed or badly depressed. Here are some non corpgov drug treatments, if these don't work see a competent doctor or natural healer. • • • • • Spicy food is thought to increase endorphins giving a temporary break from the depression symptoms. Full spectrum lighting, find light bulbs that produce full spectrum lighting known to help reduce SAD. Light box, for the worst sufferers a prescription to spend half an hour or more every morning in front of a light box to stimulate the somatic centers of the brain. Exercise, we have found this to be the best answer, force yourself out every day for a run or long bike drive up several steep hills(whatever drives up your pulse), exposure to the sun and aerobic activity are both good treatments for SAD. The English and Cascadians are famous for their rainy winters and their tea and coffee, caffeine runs up the metabolism and helps you wake up. Watch out if you are working on quitting a drug habit, this will be the hardest time of the year for most drugs even if you have been successful so far, plan ahead coping strategies. Childbirth In modern Amerika childbirth is treated as a major medical and surgical emergency. A c-section is often recommended to give both the doctor and healthy mothers a way to avoid a painful and messy birth that might happen at an inconvenient time. Women are forced to push a baby up into the air so the doctor can easily catch the baby and the glory. Few mention the lasting pain and damage that even the most modern c-section does to a woman. Home birth is the natural alternative, good medical care through the whole pregnancy is essential, but giving birth to a baby in comfortable and familiar setting is much better for many women in most cases than having a baby in a super-germ infested hospital. Unless you are certain that there is a problem and need to have surgery, giving birth in town near a hospital will have you as close to emergency surgery as someone actually in the hospital. Find a competent midwife and begin working with her as soon as possible in the pregnancy. Make sure you are getting enough protein and green leafy vegetables. Keep track of your urine output and baby motion. It is a big problem if you start getting high blood pressure, puffy face, or seizures you might have eclampsia. It is nice to have your own quality stethoscope to monitor babies heartbeat. When the big day comes be sure you have at least one competent helper preferably with pediatric advanced life support training. Have plastic sheet or tarp and be ready for a mess. Most women like to give birth on their bed but many first time mothers need a gravity assist like pushing while sitting on a stool or toilet. Don't worry about breathing or timing, your body almost always knows what to do especially if you are in good shape. Again it is a good idea to have an experienced midwife and probably a good friend and a apprentice midwife. It is a good idea to have oxygen and intubation equipment if there is someone skilled in their use (if you are unskilled don't attempt to use a laryngoscope or airway equipment) , airway problems are the most common problem at birth. If baby comes out purple before you panic try rubbing the baby with a towel or blowing at their face forcing them to take a deep breath. In a rare worst case you can start CPR and consider epinephrine IV or in the endotrachial tube. Get baby nursing as soon as possible, this will help the uterus contract and slow bleeding. There are herbs and medications that the midwife may give to assist in this contraction as does massaging abdomen over the uterus. Piece together the placenta and look for any missing pieces, if these remain inside they can cause very serious problems. This information is in no way a substitute to a good midwife or doctor who will walk you through your pregnancy and birth. After you experience your bright eyed natural home birth you become an excellent candidate to begin learning the important skills of midwifing and birth coaching. Nursing If the baby doesn't want to nurse for up to 36 to 48 hours don't get too stressed, especially in larger babies they have lots of stored food and water, being born is tiring for them. First time mothers might need to manually pop out inverted nipples or use nursing shields at first if baby has trouble latching on. If all fails and formula is needed try to avoid bovine or soy based mixes, we have used a mix of brown rice syrup, goat milk, vitamin drops, flax seed oil, ask your midwife what she recommends. Don't fall for WASP slave propaganda it is OK to nurse for two or three years if you and baby like, many women are without their period during this time and enjoy natural birth control for around a year and a half, it is good for bonding and great nutrition for baby. Links You can really take control of your own health care, it is your responsibility to study and research when you have a personal medical disorder, the doctor has only so much time to spend with a patient. Some tools to help you are the book Where There is No Doctor by the Hesperian Society, it uses simple language to explain treatment of most common injuries and disease. The Merck Manual of Medical Information is the corpgov standard reference book for medical treatment and is available in most large book stores and on-line; ask in a doctors office for their last years copy, you will have symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment at your fingertips for most common medical problems. Merck also offers a number of other medical books on-line for free. The Merck Manual of Medical Information - Home Edition: The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy: The Merck Manual of Health & Aging: The Merck Manual of Geriatrics: The Merck Veterinary Manual: Ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of medicine. Download and print these books from the Hesperian Society: Where There Is No Doctor: Where There Is No Dentist: Where Women Have No Doctor: A Book For Midwives: You can buy paperback copies of these books as well. Most of the equipment and medications can be obtained over the internee. If you want to stock antibiotics and medications the best way to buy them is to find a veterinary supply who will sell you standard human antibiotics and explain them as for use on fish, there is no difference in the meds except you do not need permission from a doctor to treat your illness. Oral antibiotic use is safer compared to intravenous antibiotics with rash and allergy being the most common side affect of the oral antibiotics, contact a doctor and have Benadryl ready if this happens. Yogurt and probiotics are a must if on antibiotics to keep your body from being totally stripped of its microscopic defenders and helpers. An EMT course which takes about one term is a valuable course to take, time in the field as a volunteer will teach you even more, you will be better prepared to treat protesters as a medic and you will be much more educated about your own body. If you prefer more natural care there are plenty of remedies that you can make for yourself with common plants, many practitioners give free classes on natural health care to gain patients. Links Government Run Health Clinics For Free : Find a government run health clinic that will see you for free or reduced cost. Unite For Sight Free Clinics: Find a free eye care clinic in your area. Planned Parenthood Locator: Find a Planned Parenthood Health Center near you. List of Hotline Numbers: A list of 1-800 numbers that you can call for many situations you may face. Find a Covenant House: 1-800-999-9999 A free physical if you decide to check in. Low-cost and free dental clinics: Check the phone book or at the local library for Dental Schools. Ask if they will allow you to volunteer as a subject in exchange discounted (maybe even free?) dental care. You will have to fill out a legal disclaimer. Free Condoms: If you live near a university, go to the health services office and ask for some condoms. Also worth noting: many universities have 1-800 numbers (nurse lines) for their students to use to get medical advice. Find the number for the university near you and call it if need be. Birth Control Clinics If you do not have a birth control prescription or understand what to use, a Planned Parenthood doctor can educate you and dispense on-site. There is plenty of information available now about contraception, just remember anytime you ride bareback you can transmit an STD or get her pregnant even a condom will not work 100% for STD and birth control so be smart about who you get with. Abortions Careful consideration must be given to what is posted here as this could easily be the most deadly page in the book if used incorrectly. Women should use their own head in this most difficult decision since the easiest way to get new rebels for the war against the system is to make our own!! It is often too easily a decision made by parents, teachers, or friends and peer pressure to end a pregnancy, use your own head and uterus in this decision this is YOUR body. Don't let Economic decisions keep you from populating our cause, corpgov wants the best slaves and that means 1.8 kids raised from infancy only by suburban double income WASP's in corpgov schools and daycare while the parents work their asses off. It is documented that Blacks, Hispanics, minorities and the poor are overwhelmingly offered abortion while the "middle class misguided youth" whites are encouraged to keep their pregnancy to delivery and give their baby away to a "good" family. Gotta keep Amerika white..... These are websites dealing with Herbal Abortions. This is not something to be taken lightly, as taking herbs in the wrong quantity or strength can make a bad situation worse. Read all information completely, and if possible, consult a competent sympathetic herbalist for more advice and information! • • • • • • Women's Health Specialists of California have an informative website on both abortion and adoption. They have extensive information on Mifeprex (RU 486) an on the "fake clinics" that are set up by right-wingers and anti-abortion groups solely to deceive women and talk them out of having abortions. • Emergency Contraception: (A good way to remember this is "", which routes to that site. Remember the hyphens!) For those worried about religious or personal moral issues morning after pills or a proper multiple dose of certain types of birth control pills is an effective attempt at preventing ovulation (release of egg cell) thus preventing possibility of a pregnancy from ever starting, it is NOT an abortion of any kind. Diseases Treated Free Women under the age of 25 or so can be vaccinated for Human Pappillomo Virus (HPV). HPV is very easy to get, because about 80% of people have it and don't even know. While HPV usually doesn't do anything, it can sometimes develop into cervical cancer, which has a pretty high mortality rate. You can get the vaccine which is called Gardasil at free clinics and from private doctors. If you're under 18, it might be a little tough with parental approval and all of that, but don't let it stop you from getting the vaccine. It is extremely important that you reduce your risk of getting cervical cancer, because how are you going to make a difference if you're dead? If you think you have an STD go to the county or school clinic and find out where to get help before you mess up your reproductive system or spread disease. Free Communication Original Free Communication If you don't like the news, why not go out and make your own? Creating free media depends to a large extent on your imagination and ability to follow through on ideas. The average Amerikan is exposed to over 1,600 commercials each day. Billboards, glossy ads and television spots make up much of the word environment they live in. To crack through the word mush means creating new forms of free communication. Advertisements for revolution are important in helping to educate and mold the milieu of people you wish to win over. Guerrilla theater events are always good news items and if done right, people will remember them forever. Throwing out money at the Stock Exchange or dumping soot on executives at Con Edison or blowing up the policeman statue in Chicago immediately conveys an easily understood message by using the technique of creative disruption. Recently to dramatize the illegal invasion of Cambodia, 400 Yippies stormed across the Canadian border in an invasion of the United States. They threw paint on store windows and physically attacked residents of Blair, Washington. A group of Vietnam veterans marched in battle gear from Trenton to Valley Forge. Along the way they performed mock attacks on civilians the way they were trained to do in Southeast Asia. Dying all the outdoor fountains red and then sending a message to the newspaper explaining why you did it, dramatizes the idea that blood is being shed needlessly in imperialist wars. A special metallic bonding glue available from Eastman-Kodak will form a permanent bond in only 45 seconds. Gluing up locks of all the office buildings in your town is a great way to dramatize the fact that our brothers and sisters are being jailed all the time. Then, of course, there are always explosives which dramatically make your point and then some. Press Conferences If you have decided to reach out to the average sheeple Amerikan you have to dress to what they expect of their leaders, a nice suit and tie (make sure it is not shiny in bright light). Pack your suit and shoes in a garment bag to keep them clean and unwrinkled. Get dressed right before the interview and have a friend check you out. Clean paper towel can be used to emergency re-shine black shoes. If there will be lots of lights and TV crews filming it could be useful to have a stage or TV expert apply a layer to reduce the shine of your face. Keep your comments short, plan statements so they can't be easily edited out of context. Plan for baiting questions from unfriendly CorpGov press and rehearse smooth answers. Don't get angry at the reporters. Try to get friendly reporters who can rescue you, but always remember that not all reports are your friend even if they play the part. Anything you say, even an aside that was not meant as part of the interview, can end up in the report. Take some hints from Public Speaking. If possible get a brother or sister to tape the interview with a quality digital camcorder, HID light, and decent microphone for archival and to counter out of context chop clips by the CorpGov media. Original Press Conferences Another way of using the news to advertise the revolution and make propaganda is to call a press, conference. Get an appropriate place that has some relationship to the content of your message. Send out announcements to as many members of the press as you can. If you do not have a press list, you can make one up by looking through the Yellow Pages under Newspapers, Radio Stations, Television Stations, Magazines and Wire Services. Check out your list with other groups and pick up names of reporters who attend movement press conferences. Address a special invitation to them as well as one to their newspaper. Address the announcements to "City Desk" or "'News Department." Schedule the press conference for about 11:00 A.M. as this allows the reporters to file the story in time for the evening newscast or papers. On the day of the scheduled conference, call the important city desks or reporters about 9:00 A.M. and remind them to come. Everything about a successful press conference must be dramatic, from the announcements and phone calls to the statements themselves. Nothing creates a worse image than four or five men in business suits sitting behind a table and talking in a calm manner at a fashionable hotel. Constantly seek to have every detail of the press conference differ in style as well as content from the conferences of people in power. Make use of music and visual effects. Don't stiffen up before the press. Make the statement as short and to the point as possible. Don't read from notes, look directly into the camera. The usual television spot is one minute and twenty seconds. The cameras start buzzing on your opening statement and often run out of film before you finish. So make it brief and action packed. The question period should be even more dramatic. Use the questioner's first name when answering a question. This adds an air of informality and networks are more apt to use an answer directed personally to one of their newsmen. Express your emotional feelings. Be funny, get angry, be sad or ecstatic. If you cannot convey that you are deeply excited or troubled or outraged about what you are saying, how do you expect it of others who are watching a little image box in their living room? Remember, you are advertising a new way of life to people. Watch TV commercials. See how they are able to convey everything they need to be effective in such a short time and limited space. At the same tune you're mocking the shit they are pushing, steal their techniques. At rock concerts, during intermission or at the end of the performance, fight your way to the stage. COMMUNICATION Announce that if the electricity is cut off the walls will be torn down. This galvanizes the audience and makes the owners of the hall the villains if they fuck around. Lay out a short exciting rap on what's coming down. Focus on a call around one action. Sometimes it might be good to engage rock groups in dialogues about their commitment to the revolution. Interrupting the concert is frowned upon since it is only spitting in the faces of the people you are trying to reach. Use the Culture as ocean to swim in. Treat it with care. Sandwich boards and hand-carried signs are effective advertisements. You can stand on a busy corner and hold up a sign saying "Apartment Needed," "Free Angela," "Smash the State" or other slogans. They can be written on dollar bills, envelopes that are being mailed and other items that are passed from person to person. Take a flashlight with a large face to movie theaters and other dark public gathering places. Cut the word "STRIKE" or "REVOLT" or "YIPPIE" out of dark cellophane. Paste the stencil over the flashlight, thus allowing you to project the word on a distant wall. There are a number of all night call-in shows that have a huge audience. If you call with what the moderator considers "exciting controversy," he may give you a special number so you won't have to compete in the switchboard roller-derby. It often can take hours before you get through to these shows. Here's a trick that will help you out if the switchboard is jammed. The call-in shows have a series of hones so that when one is busy the next will take the call. Usually the numbers run in sequence. Say a station gives out PL 5-8640, as the number to call. That means it also uses PL 58641, PL 5-8642 and so on. If you get a busy signal, hang up and try calling PL S-8647 say. This trick works in a variety of situations where you want to get a call through a busy switchboard. Remember it for airline and bus information. Use of the Flag The flag represents our nation -- it represents our various ideals and shows camaraderie. We will wear, hoist, carry, and show our flag to mark the true Land of the Free. Dance around the flag. Burn the flag. Get high on the flag. Steal this flag! Original Use of the Flag The generally agreed upon flag of our nation is black with a red, five pointed star behind a green marijuana leaf in the center. It is used by groups that understand the correct use of culture and symbolism in a revolutionary struggle. When displayed, it immediately increases the feelings of solidarity between our brothers and sisters. High school kids have had great fights over which flag to salute in school. A sign of any liberated zone is the flag being flown. Rock concerts and festivals have their generally apolitical character instantly changed when the flag is displayed. The political theoreticians who do not recognize the flag and the importance of the culture it represents are ostriches who are ignorant of basic human nature. Throughout history people have fought for religion, life-style, land, a flag (nation), because they were ordered to, for fortune, because they were attacked or for the hell of it. If you don't think the flag is important, ask the hardhats. Radio Small Broadcasters Check out the 88 to 91 MHz range of the dial. These stations are licensed by the FCC for non-profit broadcast. This includes not just NPR affiliates and national syndicated religious programming, but local and college broadcasters. If you live near a college or university, be sure to check out their radio facilities. Many are quite large, sporting FM and AM transmitters in the kilowatt range. These stations usually have their own FCC licenses, and are fiercely independent. There are a variety of opportunities, both as music DJ and other programming, and usually are willing to let community members get involved. Shortwave Radio In an age of snooping and censorship, Shortwave Radio can be a godsend. International broadcasts can provide different perspectives on a major news event, as well as providing information that may not be available from corporate sources. Some stations, like Radio Habana Cuba and Radio Pyongyang (of North Korea) have a heavy political slant to their reporting, while the far-right conspiracy mongers who buy air time on US commercial stations often drift into the political Twilight Zone. The BBC (British Broadcasting Company) World Service is a great source of news and info, but in a cost-cutting move, stopped almost all their entertainment programs on the World Service as well as discontinuing beaming signals to North America. They now focus on satellite radio (Sirius and XM) and licensing programs to NPR stations. However, you can pick up the BBC's Asian, African and Caribbean services in many parts of the USA. You can also listen in on the Internet for free ( When buying a shortwave receiver, get the best you can afford. Cheap radios simply aren't worth it. While the many "wind-up" radios, like the Baygen Freeplay models, are good in an emergency, you'll need a serious radio for serious listening. If you can, get a radio with continuous tuning (150 to 29999 kc) and a Sideband filter so you can listen to the Hams and Pirates. If there's an Amateur radio swap meet where you are, go there and ask a lot of questions. See if you can get a good deal on a used receiver. If someone mentions a "boat anchor", that's slang for an older style desk top radio. The name comes from the fact that since they use vacuum tubes, they're quite heavy. A radio is only as good as the antenna, so if you don't have the space or budget for an outdoor antenna, you can use an indoor longwire antenna. Get 40 feet (a little more than 12 meters) of insulated, triple-braid copper wire and an alligator clip. Trim off just enough insulation to attach the clip to the wire, and then attach the clip to the telescoping rod antenna on the radio. Either lay the wire flat on the floor or tack it onto the wall (Don't worry if you have to bend it along another wall). Just remember not to attach the wire to any electrical outlet or any electrical appliance other than the radio, and don't drive any staples or thumbtacks through the wire. You don't need to ground the antenna, since you're using the existing ground in the radio. The closest there is to a "TV Guide" to shortwave is the Passport to World Band Radio, published annually by International Broadcasting Services. There is also the World Radio-Television Handbook, which covers the whole broadcasting industry (AM, FM, TV, Longwave, Shortwave) and is very tech-heavy. Popular Communications (known by techies as "PopCom") is a monthly magazine that covers almost all facets of radio and TV broadcasting from many technical angles. The centerfold always has a listing of shortwave broadcasts and times. Broadcast times are set by Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which is also called Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), and is the local time at 0 degrees longitude. UTC is posted in a 24 hour standard (That is, 2 AM is 0200 and 2 PM is 1400). You can find what UTC is where you are by tuning in time signal stations WWV or WWVH at 2500, 5000, 10000, 15000 and (WWV only) 20000 kc. If you hear a "tick" once a second, wait for a voice announcement saying "At the tone, -hours, -- minutes, Co-ordinated Universal Time." In Canada, there is CHU, broadcasting at 3330, 7335 and 14670 kc. They broadcast their timechecks in English and French, beginning with "CHU Canada". Very important: If you are listening at home and using an AC plug for the radio, get a surge protector and use it! Batteries don't feed line noise and will often improve reception as will being far away from power lines or running vehicles. See also Guerrilla Radio Crystal Radio If you get bored or cut off from news outside make a simple crystal radio set, all you need is some wire aluminum foil, a telephone handset, antenna and coil wire and a diode (or pencil and razor blade), no battery needed! If you find a wall wart transformer or almost any electronic gadget you are almost set except for the telephone handset speaker (a Piezo speaker disk might work but sound will be crap). Take a diode and put it in parallel to your earphone, run one wire to a ground like a water pipe or ground and the other should be strung out as long as you can make the antenna, if a ground is impossible string both ends as long as possible, making a dipole antenna. At the center between the antennas or antenna/ground wire you will place your stacked foil capacitor and a coil of wire around a straw or bottle(anything non-conductive even air). Play with number wraps and alignment layers of foil(with plastic or paper between) this is your tuner/variable capacitor. If you need to join copper wire strands for a longer more effective antenna knot and crush together with a piece of metal if you are unable to solder them. see and Making Music One of the most overreaching arms of Corpgov is the entertainment industry. It once was that a creative enough musician could tap into the unlimited power and greed of the king to outlaw performance of his work by any other artist, this copy-right included a bribe to the king or a royalty to make the deal interesting to the king. The framers of the US constitution saw a role for limited copyright and patent that would encourage people to create new works for the purpose of earning a living by giving them a monopoly for a few years on the works produced, a right that could be sold for cash up front to someone else. Today with the power of massive CorpGov our fascist system of business to government entanglement, large mega corporations like Disney were able to find favor with the US congressmen with promises of cash for the election arms race if they would kindly extend the length of copyright to 70 years after the death of the artist. They had to keep the mouse in prison for fear that derivative works might be made from him similar to what Disney does with stories like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast or The Jungle Book, all of which are based on Public Domain works. In a world where we boycott the industrial evil or when copyright is no more we must make our own music. Our limited budgets need a way to still make our art and distribute it. Music is a medium to convey a message that might not be received from print or public speeches. Instruments These portable musical instruments will help you tell a story, make some money, and entertain your friends, sometimes all at the same time. For the "classy" instruments more money can be made if you wear a nice suit or dress while performing. In times of great stress a skilled musician is in high demand even if availability of cash is scarce. Barter is good payment, food and bed topping the list. Conversely an out of tune instrument or lack of skill can grate on nerves even if the player is enjoying himself, so start out practicing in a secluded area. Harmonica The harmonica is the hobo's friend. Easily stashed in your pocket a harmonica played on a street corner with a cup out will often pay your expenses for the day. Look for a quality instrument and carry a spare in case you break a reed. Clarinet Lightweight wind instrument, the clarinet is an excellent accompaniment to a piano for plays and background mood music by itself. Most clarinets break down to several short pieces that will easily fit in your pack. Always carry several extra reeds. Make PVC Clarinet in A3 You need: • • • Alto sax reed 1/2 inch schedule 40 PVC pipe Hex cap screw (or whatever fine thread short machine screw you have) Building: • • • • • • • • Cut a piece of pipe to 15 inches. Make the reed mouthpiece, saw or sand to fit the reed, do the final fitting by hand with sandpaper, alto sax reed seems to fit this pipe best. The slope of the pipe must be steep enough that the thickest part of the reed is right above the location for the screw, not the sloped part. Drill an angled hole for the reed screw into the pipe above the angle cut area of the pipe making sure that the screw hole is at an exact right angle to the reed. Enlarge the hole in the reed so the screw is not threading tight into it. Carefully thread the hex cap screw in. Try blowing the reed, if the reed just sticks down you need to reshape the pipe with sanding paper until you get the proper reed sound, about 1/32 inch gap is needed. Finger hole tuning is by carefully reaming the opening diameters, you either need to have a very good sense of tone or a tuning fork to make the right hole diameters. We will now need to remember our octave of Do, Re, Me, Fa, So, La, Te, Do. With no holes try blowing, you want to hear a match to A3 Do, shorten the far end of the pipe until you get a correct tone. • • • Now drill 1/8 in. holes at the following distances from the reed end of the clarinet in inches: Thumb(bottom) Do 7.54, Finger Holes Te 7.79, La 8.89, So 9.89, Fa 10.89, Me 11.89, Re 12.89 Starting from the farthest holes tune each hole by carefully opening up the holes. Run a dowel through the pipe to clean out attached shavings as you work and carefuly carve and sand the edges as you tune the holes so they are smooth Patience is required or you will open the holes too wide and ruin the clarinet. If you like you can lightly sand and paint your clarinet flat black, or your favorite color but be careful over the holes as this might put it off tune. Flute Flute music gives a high pich that carries for a long distance, useful for rallying the troops at a demonstration along with drums. Drum and flute hearkens back to revolutionary war days which is part of our vision. Make a PVC Flute (Thanks Mark Shepard for un-copyrighting his design so we could edit it for this book) See Marks website for lots of smart advice on working with PVC safely, avoiding glue fumes, inhalation of PVC dust, and Gandhi. The plastic we’re talking about is PVC (polyvinyl chloride), used for cold water supply, and its close cousin CPVC (chloro-polyvinyl chloride), for hot water. DO NOT use ABS pipe for flutes or gray PVC electrical conduit. Since there are no restrictions on the toxicity of the chemicals added to it avoid the conduit also because of its greater wall thickness, which will hurt octave tuning.. Following is the plan for a flute I designed in the summer of 1988. I call it the “Plumber’s Pipe.” It’s in the key of G and plays two full octaves. Of course, you might have to modify the design, depending on materials available to you. (For basic principles of designing and tuning flutes, see my book Simple Flutes.) The flute is made from 3/4 inch CPVC pipe, plus a standard end cap. The actual exact dimensions of the pipe are 7/8 inch outside diameter, 11/16 inch inside diameter, 3/32 inch wall thickness. The tube length, with the end cap off, is 15-9/16 inches. The wall thickness of the end cap too is 3/32 inch, for a total mouthhole depth of 3/16 inch. The chart shows the size of each hole and the distance from its center to the top of the flute tube— again, measured with the flute cap off. You can mark these distances on a piece of paper, a ruler, a dowel, or a length of pipe, then use this pattern to help place the holes on your pipe. Two holes are slightly offset as shown, for easier fingering. A good trick is to use a plumbing pipe end cap—a standard part—as a combination stopper and lip plate. Glue it on with plastic pipe cement, then drill the mouthhole through it. Apply the cement to the pipe surface only—not inside the cap—to avoid pushing the excess into the flute, where fumes can persist much longer. (also get the pipe flute players guide a free PDF ) There is no copyright or patent on this design. Feel free to make as many as you like, and to sell them too! Violin Violins and fiddles are lightweight and their mellow sound is great for short gig's at pubs, coffee shops, and restaurants. Portability is the reason why nomads and those constantly forced to relocate like Roma, Jews, and Pavee are known for playing the violin. Learn to make a violin. Guitar A guitar with its powerful natural acoustic amplification works well for intimate performances or large groups. Drums Portable drums are readily available for traveling musicians, they are great for accompanying or solo work. A simple snare drum or wood blocks are excellent for working a few gigs while mobile. Nothing says march on like a drum, if you are part of a demonstration and don't want your nice instrument damaged by the pigs just use your drum sticks and a plastic bucket, find buckets that have the tone you want by tapping everything. Keyboard If you are on the move a real piano is not an option unless it is already on site, a portable electronic keyboard can be plugged into a mixer and pumped out the amp during a performance. Roll up keyboards are considered by most to be inferior due to the bad tactile feedback although this is the most packable way to have a keyboard. If a keyboard has a MIDI or USB port that means it is ready to be used with a computer with the correct cable and software. Kazoo A very simple instrument that can be used for comic effect. If you can hum, you can play a kazoo. Homemade Instruments If times are truly tough, or you want to go Hardcore DIY, you can build your own instruments. This style is often called "Washboard" or "Skiffle" and often consists of one person playing a "regular" instrument like a guitar, accompanied by a junkyard full of homebrew instruments (See the Little Rascals/Our Gang short film "Mike Fright" for a great example [1]). Here are links to information or inspiration on building your own instruments: • • • • • • • • Dan Bruner's Website - Featuring plans for drums, flutes, panpipes and didjerido, all made from PVC or ABS. Webpage of Dennis Havlena - Featuring plans for various instruments made from scrap or easily obtainable materials. Cookie Tin Banjo Yahoo Group Homemade Percussion at Rhythmweb Junkabilly - Photos of the artist's homemade instruments. Bash the Trash PVC Flutes Recycled Instruments • • Scotty's Cigar Box Guitars - Information and plans. Production If you want to really pump music to a crowd or you wish to record and distribute the tools are now affordable to even garage bands, all that is needed is some skill in the trade. Digital Music DIY Now Download the ebook Digital Music DIY Now A guide to making a living making music out of your backpack, from anywhere, and everywhere. It is free under the CCL SA license, print it, edit it, give it away. Software There are many free open source options to mixing and recording software in addition to the nonfree options. • Audacity - Audacity is a free, easy-to-use audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. You can use Audacity to record live audio, convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs, edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, and WAV sound files, Cut, copy, splice, and mix sounds together, change the speed or pitch of a recording, and more! Ardour - Ardour capabilities include: multichannel recording, non-linear, non-destructive region based editing with unlimited undo/redo, full automation support, a mixer whose capabilities rival high end hardware consoles, lots of plugins to warp, shift and shape your music, and controllable from hardware control surfaces at the same time as it syncs to timecode. Sound and MIDI software for Linux • • Amplifiers In a mobile setting 12 volt amps might be used in place of expensive generators and standard hardware. Speakers A song that sounds great on a set of really nice, expensive studio monitors might sound like shit on a standard boombox. Conversely, a song that sounds superb might sound weak and boring on some nice speakers. When recording and mix, be sure to listen to your mix through as many different and commonplace speakers and you can. A good idea, after mixing some tracks, is to burn a cd-r and listen to it through a portable CD player, a car stereo, and some standard computer speakers. Know that if you plan on posting exclusively on the web, some people only listen to tunes through their hp brand 2 volt computer speakers. Especially be weary of the volume and tone of bass, cymbals, and high-end stuff like guitar solos or violins. Your best bet, especially if you are working with few people in a home studio, is to invest in some nice headphones. Recording Recording Studio The acoustics and sound insulation of the recording studio is very important. While studios cover all walls with foam, an acceptable home studio might be made by choosing a quiet room and covering the walls and ceiling with blankets or carpet to dampen reverb. Empty egg cartons taped or glued to the wall will break up and dissipate sound waves more effectively than standard flat walls. Old carpet, packing foam, couch cushions, old clothes, or even newspaper can act as effective sound insulation. Dirty electricity can be a killer for most amplifiers, causing unwanted buzz during moments of silence. If you get this type of constant buzzing, look in Radio Shack or audiophile-type stores for power strips that offer the capability of "cleaning up" electricity. Always be sure to safely store and lock up all of your equipment. Do not be too casual about letting people know about your space and equipment, as these spaces are prime for theft. On Air If you are feeling dangerous pipe a high quality feed over the Internet with software like VLC to your Guerrilla Radio station elsewhere in town as well as to Internet users across the world. Keep the studio and transmitter operations separate as possible so the pigs won't confiscate your studio if they make a bust. Distribution The plastic and vinyl days are quickly ending, many bands release exclusively on MP3 or our free Ogg Vorbis format. Introduction onto the Internet and sharing networks will get your music available but it helps to have prominent bloggers and reviewers mention your work so that people will know to look for your work. Wheatpasting and free public performance will increase interest in your work. Free Software As we are fighting to break free from corpgov we should be freeing our computer systems as well. Linux and BSD are free as in take one you can have it for no price but much more importantly it is free as in liberty do with it as you see fit. The fact that the code is open to review makes it more secure as anyone catching a security bug can update or notify the project. This makes for our favorite operating systems and accompanying software to be capable of being very secure against to hacking, viruses, and exploitation remotely or locally. Live CD Distros A good way to start off is to play with a live CD distro like Knoppix and then after you feel comfortable and are interfacing with other Linux users dual boot with your old OS and linux. It feels very liberating to wipe Microsoft off of your disk but it might be useful to have for some programs. Anything you do in MS windows can endanger the data on your whole disk even the Linux sections to damage from virus, remote exploits, and general shoddy software execution. Ubuntu Ubuntu is considered by many to be the easiest for beginning users but it is based upon the stable and powerful Debian a real workhorse of an OS. Visiting the Ubuntu website you should find a link for a free Ubuntu install disk which at least in 2008 they would mail to you for free usually within a month. Staying on Windows If you are chained to Windows install open source free software and use it as much as possible instead of purchasing locked down corporate junk (or just use a live cd). Open Office is as good or better than Microsoft Office and more importantly, it doesn't cost $100+. In fact, it's free! All the functionality is there for no price! Also, visit Sourceforge for tons of free windows apps. Sourceforge is all open source and there's over a hundred thousand active projects there and more than a million users. A dicey alternative to open source is BitTorrent. Using sites such as The Pirate Bay and TorrenSpy, you can find copies of almost every single piece of slave software available. From Vista to Office, Age of Empires to BioShock, everything is at your fingertips. Document and Publishing The Starting a Printing Workshop section discusses several free software packages for setting up documents, editing photos, and formatting documents or newspapers. Music In Making Music we discuss free audio authoring software. Wikipedia Wikipedia is an enormous resource, a real Hitchhikers Guide, when you have Internet access. There is now an open source free project which brings Wikipedia to your hard disk so you have access even when offline, visit for how to get this running in Linux and potentially Windows and Mac. Free Telephones Need to make a call, but lack a phone? Short on cash? These tips will help you make your phone calls for free. Payphones in a Pinch This method is quite simple, and quite easy. It is quite reliable, since it relies on the greed of corporate Amerika. Countless companies, groups, and organizations promote their brand/name by plastering it on phonecards, which they proceed to give away for free. They're not terribly generous, typically only 10 minutes, although sometimes as many as 100 at a time, but it's usually enough for a quick call or two. Furthermore, due to the way they're given away (handed out by greeters in stores, free postal shipping, checkout line item, etc.) they can be used to get some anonymous call time (when used with a payphone.) Obviously, you can only use the cards that offer a 1-800 number to call through -- but almost all of them do. Unfortunately, the greedy bastards at AT&T a certain major telecom carrier imposes a multi-unit surcharge for calls from payphones -- but thankfully their cards aren't commonly found as giveaways. Carry a variety of cards from a variety of different carriers -- this way, if one carrier's access number is blocked on it's competitor's phones (or some other similar corporate backstabbing), you'll still be able to make a call. Whenever you get the chance to stock up on these, do so -- grab handfuls. A pocketful of 10 and 20 minute calling cards will give you a good number of phone calls, and should allow you a chance to communicate no matter where in Amerika you are. Calling cards must be used carefully, the charges that go back to the company report the phone number and city that they were used from. A basic rule is one card for one phone, seeing as all pay phone are tapped due to the unPATRIOT Act, from then on, track you by following the calling card account wherever you use it. One way to avoid tracking is to buy or get calling cards only in the city you will make the calls, then your movement can't be usefully tracked as you travel place to place. One free calling card to destroy right away is the one sent to you as a gift from ANY company that you owe money to. This is a simple trick to collect the numbers of your friends so they can harass them as well as hopefully finding the phone number of the place you are staying. Mobility Via Mobiles Many stores that sell brand new service plans and phones let one make a telephone call for free. Corporate stores set up phones so people can test out the service features, plans, and reliability. Try any number of Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T (formerly Cingular) or Sprint stores to make free phone calls. If one wants to talk for more than a few minutes without attracting unwanted attention, go at busier times of the day. Also, since the advent of the Apple iPhone, the Apple stores are a great place to use their phones to make free calls. The store in Midtown Manhattan is open 24/7 so one can always call 1-900 numbers if they are feeling frisky at 3AM. The Apple stores are also a great place to browse the Internet uninterrupted for free. In Store VOIP Demo One way to get free anonymous telephone calls is to head into a store selling VoIP services. For instance, CompUSA sells Packet8, Vonage, etc. Usually each of these providers has a demonstration kiosk set up with one of their phones to try. These are working phones and will dial out to anywhere in the continental United States. You may even find some that will make international calls. Phone Taps A small cheap one piece telephone and some alligator clips can help get you a phone call. We have even seen tiny phones as small as a pager with a belt clip and a hands free ear-piece, now chop off one of snap in tips and add alligator clips to the center two wires, perfect! This cheapo lineman's handset will clip into most phone boxes worldwide, you just need to try the wires until you get a dial tone. It might be that the location you are trying to use has a digital phone box this will likely fry your test-set, that is why you make this gadget from a real cheapie. Look for a phone plug in the room you are using or outside houses and businesses. You can get in legal trouble for this of course but if you keep your calls to 800 numbers and use a calling card you will not increase a home phone bill for your host, we at war with corpgov not Amerikan Sheeple. (Remember to pay for your calling card in cash to help prevent tracing and never use the same card from two locations.) The center white/blue or red green on older cables will be the pair you want to attach clips to on your handset as these are the live pair on single line phones. Now that you have a dial tone you can connect your laptop or PDA modem. In addition to your clip on cable a regular RJ-11 plug cable is useful for punch down boards and phone boxes which have a test jack, many of these boxes are not locked. It might be smart to have a spool of narrow gauge speaker wire in your pack, connect your phone set and lay out wire to behind a shed or into a ditch, you will be free to operate out of sight for a longer time hiding from nosy neighbors. If you are doing some investigations and want to tap the phone line instead of making calls install a switch to disable the microphone on your handset. If you are really paranoid tape a fingernail clipper to your long wire, if a pig shows up clip the line and pretend you are on a cell phone call.... Walk away!! Your own Phone Company A cool way to share phone service is to set up an Asterisk server on a Linux box and connect it to a local phone and/or VOIP line use a dynamic DNS service to direct to your DSL line. Many accounts to share the lines can be made and sharing can be with anyone connected to the Internet. If the system gets overloaded just add another local line or VOIP line. Asterisk if free, open, and Linux based Your Own Mobile Phone Company A device known as a radio-telephone patch or autopatch connects a two way radio base station to the phone system. Another radio with DTMF tone keypad (most ham radio handhelds have this) is used to attach and dial phone calls. If you have a base antenna on a high hill or tower you might get service for many miles. You and a few friends can set up several patches on different frequencies and locations and then connect them to your Internet connected community asterisk phone system saving you big money on mobile calls and totally bypassing the phone company for inter-network calls. Unless you set up some kind of encryption (illegal on ham bands) the calls can be listened to by anyone with a scanner. Phreaking Most of the old 2600Mhz type hacks to the bell phone system have stopped working, the last North American in band tone controlled exchange closed in Minnesota in 2006. No more classic phreaking. GSM/CDMA hacks Currently, there are no known widespread modifications for modern GSM/CDMA phones. The few systems that used to have free calling workarounds have been discontinued/patched. Onboard Vehicle Help Services Services like GM's OnStar are provided on some upper class vehicles so at the touch of a button help can be summoned. The cops are famous for turning this service on full time and listening in. Don't be a fool, the built in microphone means you have tapped your own car, remember this in the vehicle belonging to family and friends of activists. In any case cars can be easily tapped, activists, make sensitive conversation outside even if you don't have an onboard service call system. Internet Communications Communications via the Internet Pretty much all Internet communication is or can be monitored by the authorities. Certainly, once you're identified as a dissenter, everything you do will be watched. This section lays out ways to work within this environment and ways to, in some cases, get around the overseeing eyes of Big Brother. Email Webmail Webmail is now cheap and plentiful. Just remember that the contents are readable by anyone that your company wants to give access to, even if you have deleted the messages; many services just make them invisible to you while still keeping a full archive for the cops. If you are ever in jail or any institution, make a new account and don't e-mail anyone but non-activist friends and family, as your email and surfing will always be watched. When using webmail (or generally browsing), try to use a browser like Firefox, which has many extensions that are perfect for hiding/deleting/encrypting your history or your searches or your email content. Freenigma is a Firefox extension for encrypting emails from Yahoo or Gmail. Local Email Local download email is the original way to get your email, but your information is saved on your hard drive by default. You read files that are downloaded automatically to your drive by your email application. Everything you send and receive, in addition to being kept by the email server in the same way that webmail works, is also stored on your drive. The files are deleted from the server and saved on your computer. Often, emails remain on server backup even after you retrieve and delete them. All of these emails are readable by a pig who gets his hands on your laptop. Whether using local email or webmail, your emails are kept on a server. ANY and ALL Internet communication can be intercepted or monitored. How to Post Information on the Web Keep It Simple Not everyone has a cable modem, DSL or dedicated T1 line. When designing a website or other web presence, consider making a low graphics or even graphics-free version for folks using dial-up services or overloaded proxy services. If you're running a web radio station, consider a Low-Fi audio feed. For the truly security cautious Flash, Java and Javascript plugins are all problems as are other plugin type website gadgets. Give viewers the option of viewing a straight HTML site with normally linked pictures and downloads. Test your site in Internet Explorer, Links, LYNX, Firefox/Mozila, Konqueror, Opera, and mobile phone browsers and almost everyone should be happy. Blog Sites There are many free blog sites which have many options. Blogger/Blogspot even has an option to post via SMS and email. If you want a regular readership, be sure to post on a regular basis (at least once a week). College or Personal Web Space Most colleges and some ISP's give webspace and a shell account when you register. An account for low bandwidth sites will be a fine option, but if your site becomes hot quickly, you could be shut down or charged for bandwidth usage. offers free, yet limited web space. The design aspect is incredibly simple (drag and drop), and features a way to include HTML code. However, all of your pages will have closable advertisements on the right-hand side of the page. Limit your use of bandwidth by limiting your image, video, and music uploads. Photohosting Sites,, Photo File Security Remember kids, your camera does leave a digital fingerprint the cops can follow, strip the EXIF data from all photos before posting so they are less easily traced. In linux install the program jhead which edits the JPEG image file headers, in command line type jhead -de * in your photo directory and date and camera information for all of the .jpeg and .jpg files will be stripped. If you are a Windows or Mac user just select and copy the part of the pic you want to the clipboard, then paste into a paint program and save. Indymedia Indymedia is a news site for an alternative viewpoint. It is a very activist source and covers activist news. Many news sites now include a discussion area at the bottom. This is usually not read by the regular news viewer and is mostly a place for debate between posters. Video on Torrent or Video sites Video of police violence, corpgov malfeasance, or active resistance can be posted to video viewing sites or to bittorrent location sites. YouTube which has been bought by Google Video are basic sites for this, as they offer a huge viewership, but you may be more easily prosecuted if the pigs want to sue the video of them off of the web. Youtube will delete videos of police or other violence it it exceeds their acceptible policy. and other video sites get less traffic but have more open terms or service. Usenet and Listservers Usenet used to be a great way to spread and discuss information. Much like the abuse of the CB radio networks in the USA, the sheer weight of spam and flamewars drove most serious users out, excluding a few special interest groups. Usenet can still be useful, especially if you are able to filter through the garbage. The good stuff can be filtered from the bad stuff using email applications or webmail services that provide good filtering, sorting and viewing options. A well set-up inbox can be extremely helpful in getting to the information you really want to read. Users who lack access to an ISP news server can use Google Groups to access the newsgroup, which has information about current open news servers. Internet Phone Communication Sites Google SMS Skype Free VOIP Free World Dialup Free open SIP service Instant Messaging Anywhere There are several instant messenger clients and services, most free for anyone to use. If you look around, you can even likely find one that will blast through your work or school firewall. Don't expect any IM's to be private, and understand that most services keep a log. Web Radio Streaming Stream like the professionals do! Software and hardware for web-streaming is easy to obtain and easy to set up, with the hardware cheap, and the software free and open-source. Get yourself an older machine, and boot some sort of Linux/BSD operating system on it. Debian, Ubuntu are easy to set up GNU/Linux variants, and NetBSD is a portable BSD system. Install icecast and rip/download some mp3s. Information on each of these OS and programs is available on their websites. Network Printing While not really getting your message out ON the net, you can really get a radical message OVER the net to unexpecting audiences. If you can make an exciting eye-catching flyer, people will recognize and grab your work. You have to figure out how to get past firewalls from outside or even print at your own corpgov job without getting caught (or, print it on the day you are fired). Print servers are also often unpatched for security and become a great scan server to use in initiating attacks on the network. Another fun idea, if you figure out the printer admin access, is to upload a script on the day you quit that bank job that will regularly print radical messages, posters, or even this book until the IT department wipes or junks the printer or server. However, attacks which involve printing out all of the ink and paper are not usually warranted as we are not at war with the trees. Most schools offer computer labs and allow students to print a maximum number of pages a day. Use this to your advantage! Draw up some fliers, print them on 3x3 settings off of a school library or computer lab printer for (somehwat above) your maximum number of free pages. Doing this once a day, or whenever the advisers change shifts to get an unlimited supply of print jobs. Connecting: Wi-Fi network Many neighbors have open wifi networks that were left in their default unlocked mode. This is either by accident or the owners wanted to give free access. Often times, the owner will not change the default password from "admin" to a better password, so you may be able to gain access to the network by using the "admin" password. Many of these "admin" passwords can also be found online. Be a good nerd, and at most open ports or DMZ your machine, if you will be around for awhile. Don't rudely lock someone out of their AP or change the SSID to 10053r, p0wn3d, or 1d10t. Something like that will likely make them secure the node, ruining a good open node. Wi-Finder Cheap Wi-Finders, keychain wifi detectors will help you quickly survey an area to see if you have a Wi-Fi node nearby, that way you can leave your lappy in the pack. A good idea is to waterproof and tape one to your bicycle handlebars or stick it under the sun shade of your bike helmet so you can see the LED's. Net&Buzz Most hipper local coffe shops offer free WiFi the signal leaks out onto the area around, if you are buying your coffee there regularly thank them so they keep it running. If you need Internet for a long stretch go in after taking a bath and wearing clean clothes that way they won't kick you out, plug in and buy a coffee or cake at least every hour and a half, avoid squatting at high traffic times, leave a tip. Cyber-Hobo Code Where there is open wireless let people know, take a tip from Wall Painting and use our hobo code, )( the opposing half circles means open wireless node, while a closed circle means a closed network, chalk it on the curb. If you manage to crack the encryption on a closed network and get online leave the passphrase on the corner of the building near the ground. Where to Sit When out using free public wireless Internet, there is often a dearth of chairs. Many camping stores sell a light, inexpensive mini tripod stool which folds up into a 2/3 meter long bundle. You can strap this to your bike frame or pack for portability. Cantenna or Antenna If you are able to detect a wireless access point but not connect, often a directional high gain antenna will get you a strong enough signal for full connectivity. You can build or buy these antennas. If you can buy them, it is advisable, for durability sake, to spend the money for a 14dB or higher patch (flat) antenna and a quality tough antenna pigtail. Since these pigtails are fragile, a spare is advisable. Even if your laptop has built-in wireless, a high power removable wifi card that you can attach your antenna to will get you online in many densely populated environments where the built in antenna would normally fail. WEP/WMA WEP is an old encryption used on 802.11b wireless networks. It is easily cracked, and some business and government offices may have an older personal wifi access point installed in big exec offices so they can play on their mahogany paneled laptops. Any reasonable IT department would have implemented better security. Our hacks use a computer running Linux but there are also windows and Mac programs for this. Airsnort and Aircrack can help you bust the WEP/WMA encryption: this software package comes as an downloadable option with most Linux distros. Sample some net traffic, then let Aircrack look for weak packets, unlocking the encryption key. If your are a MS-Windows user, booting up with Knoppix STD will give you most of the security hacking tools you will need. Community Wireless Co-Op Many cities have community wifi co-ops which provide free Internet and possibly other services from their access areas. These are great for anonymous surfing. Be sure to clear out all personal identifying settings and cookies from your browser and computer before you feel too secure. Pirate Wireless An interesting spin on community wireless is if at work you find a live network cable and power port you can just plug in an old access point and make a pirate wireless hotspot, of course it would have to make the signal available somewhere useful to justify the expense, maybe a directional antenna to extend the range and some disguise is in order to keep it safe. Alternatively drill holes high on the wall to the outside for your wires and install a plastic waterproof electrical box outside where there would be no suspicion. Make everything look professional and seal all holes for moisture and it might last for years. HTTP over DNS Many pay-for WiFi networks or crippled corporate networks still allow DNS queries. This opening can be exploited to allow tunnel access to a server and then out to the Internet. Cellular GPRS Mobile phone based Internet connections are quite expensive and have the added detriment of being fully traceable back to you within a few meters, like all mobile phone use. The upside is possible broadband, even in remote areas or while in transit. However, it drains battery life quickly, and will give you a very sub-par viewing experience. Mobile Acess Point Most of the Linux based routers have an internal serial port or two. It will be either 3.3v or 5v. This serial port is a great way to connect a whole campout or crash house to the Internet, you will need to add PPPD to the firmware and set up the config files. Use the mobile phone to dial in or get GPRS access, as most unlocked mobile phones accept serial connections and almost all phones accept some Hayes AT commands, you could also cable connect to an older real(non-winmodem) modem this way if DSL is not an option. Add a battery pack or cigarette lighter adapter and you can even share Internet with a group traveling in several nearby cars, a train, or a bus. Beware of the next cellular bill after your net party unless you have an unlimited data account. Bluetooth Sniping Bluetooth, just like Wi-Fi, uses 2.4 Ghz microwaves. This means Wi-Fi directional antennas and amplifiers can be soldered onto your Bluetooth dongles and cards. Using this technique, locked executive phone books can be obtained, bogus phone or SMS messages can be sent, or GPRS Internet connections can be established. Wired Ethernet Often, you can quietly plug a patch cable into the library network when nobody is looking, Know how to get past the often minimal security, and don't abuse the sneak on. The library is our friend, not a thing to be abused. Subnet Sniffing Use of Linux "tcpdump" and watching the traffic will help you establish what subnet you are plugged into, even if there is no DHCP server to hand you an IP address. The "ifconfig" command will be used to set your IP address and subnet, "route" will be used to set your Internet gateway. Windows users can use the GUI to add network a address and default gateway settings. DNS If you have to sneak onto a network without a DHCP server to give you an IP address, you may need to plug in your own DNS servers found in 'network settings'. There are a few stable ones in locations all over the world. Either edit /etc/resolv.conf and add these addresses in Unix/Linux or change the Windows DNS settings in your network TCP/IP settings. • • PPPoE and VPN Many ADSL providers use PPPoE or VPN to connect. We are still looking for a crack to this protocol. We would be thankful for any tips. Mac Address Spoofing Every network device has a unique ID called a MAC address. If you copy another machine's mac address and use it on your computer, you may be able to obtain access on certain wireless or wired networks. Often there will be an authentication of some other type you must pass as well, but the MAC address is often an easy way to secure home networks. If you do get kicked from a network, try changing the network MAC address (MAC address has nothing to do with being a Macintosh or not), as this is how a machine is usually banned from a network. MAC addresses are also used in wireless networks. Dialup Free Dialup Services When a corporation "gives" you Internet, beware, as you will likely be forced to stare at ads on part of your screen. Worst-case-scenario, they have full access to your data. • • • • New England New York Western Washington USA Netzero lets you have ten hours of dialup Internet for free. This is an ad-supported service, which only works on either MS Windows or Linspire-Linux platforms, look around the site for the free account. Denver, Co • Nonprofit Unix shell and dialup access co-op, lots of options for connect. If you are on the run and need to get online using dialup, see Free_Telephones for tips on covertly connecting to phone lines. Crypto: pgp and gpg PGP (pretty good privacy) and its younger open source cousin GPG (Gnu Privacy Guard) are simple programs that use a shared key and a private key to encrypt data and messages. Many programs have GPG. Inside one of the most useful is a clipboard helper where you paste your text into the box, hit the encrypt button, and your clipboard now has the encrypted message. There is really no end to the applications that can have GPG inside from VOIP phones to instant messengers. TOR Onion Servers Obfuscate the origin of your connection. This provides privacy from end use sites, but not against telcos and governments who have the ability to monitor end to end Internet packet traffic in real time. One interesting TOR feature for us it the possibility of hosting hidden services, a website with no traceable origin, although viewers must be running TOR software or find a TOR portal. If you find that the TOR network is suddenly not working be sure to check for an update in version at the website. Some major Linux distros and other software packages may fall behind and not issue automatic updates if you have not set the updater to check the official TOR package sources. SSH encrypted shell access The standard secure way to connect for console or tunneled connections to most Unix/Linux type servers. You can use SSH to tunnel or forward almost any service see for more ideas. See for the real thing or for Putty the small Windows client which will happily run from your USB keychain drive. The following command you will start a Socks5 type proxy to forward all of your browsing to a remote server vial a remote tunnel: ssh -D 1420 The -D means you want to have SSH make a Socks5 type proxy the number (1420 or whatever you like) is the port you want to connect it to. User is your username on a remote server and after the @ sign is the web address of your server, you will be asked for your password after connecting. If you want to keep your browsing free of the IT department entirely also route your DNS requests through the Socks proxy, in Firefox type about:conf in the address bar and hit enter, you will be dropped into the manual config editing page of Firefox, scroll down to network.proxy.socks_remote_dns and toggle it to true (default is false) now got to Edit>Preferences>Connection Settings and click the Manual Proxy Configuration button, In the SOCKS Host add the address and the port will be whatever you set after the -D (our example used 1420, choose something over 1000) be sure that SOCKS-5 is selected. Once TOR is set up and working install Torbutton in Firefox and add your port settings to make your switch quick as a mouse click. If your boss blocks port 22 (normal SSH port) you can be a sneak too and route through the almost always open SSL port (443). So set up a second SSH port on 443 or an HTTPS web proxy on your server to free your surfing. Network Stealth Disguise Your Gear If you have secretly left a server in an office or other secure location, maybe an inside job, using their bandwidth broadcasting your radical news it must look like it belongs there. A nice clean modern case can often be found that will match the equipment where you are making the setup. Other options may be to to hide the server above ceiling tiles or placing a very small mini-ITX or other single board type machines double side taped under or behind a desk or cubicle partition. Hunting these down will drive IT nuts if they even ever figure out where all of their bandwidth is going. see Infiltrating for more ideas Shell Accounts Game Acquire shell access to as many servers as possible to be able to SSH over borders and obscure the point of origin while on the Internet. This can be quite useful: • once you have a shell account, use it to proxify your web use. The web requests will look like they came form the server and not you. See SSH encrypted shell access above for details. Wi-Fi and DMZ - A router to put your box on the net Many home DSL lines have the Wi-Fi router unconfigured. Use the default password to take control and DMZ your machine. You are now live on the Internet and can direct your domain name to this IP address for small scale web presence. Dynamic DNS There are now many dynamic DNS and DNS forwarding services available for free. Using these services you can direst web traffic from a domain name to your constantly changing DSL line IP address, some services also will redirect to an unblocked network port if your ISP blocks port 80. Many home network routers will automatically update your dynamic DNS provider, if your router does not support these updates there are many update programs that run on Windows, Mac, and Unix/Linux. Generic Owned Box plugged into an Open Network Any old computer plugged into a DSL line or office network and allowed to have an IP address on the Internet can be a hidden server. Your server can be used to store files, serve a website, or even remotely browse the net, obscuring your location. Arousing Suspicion An encrypted transmission will generate suspicion on the Internet. Always assume your data is being sniffed and act accordingly. Anonymous Surfing There are services that allow web surfing by-proxy which leave behind no trail of your visited websites on the computer. Great for sneaking past work or school snoops, but the Feds might be able to watch these networks. These proxies slow down your connection speed a bit, and may interfere with downloading, but for security, it's worth it. However, the fact that you've been on a proxy site for two hours may attract suspicion. • • • • Anonymouse - Guardster - (Free low-level service, but won't work on encrypted SSL sites) Shadowsurf - Proxify - Off By One A simple and free Non-Java web browser for Windows that fits on a CD or flash drive, but doesn't require installation onto the hard drive for use. It's only 1.2 MB and can be compressed down to about 460KB for distribution. When the disc is removed, all browser information goes with it. The page and image caches are memory-resident and utilize no disk storage, so after each session, any "cookies" simply vanish. The drawbacks to its small size is that it doesn't support JavaScript, applets, plug-ins or Flash. • Mozilla Firefox - Portable Edition A 25 MB version of the web-browser that can travel with you on your clip flash drive (along with your bookmarks and cookies that won't be on the computer you're using). Runs on Windows or Wine on Linux/UNIX. Torpark Torpark is a useful free software that allows you to surf the Internet anonymously. It can be used to help confuse the government or police from easily finding your location, and, when installed onto a flash drive, it can be used on public computers to bypass any filters. It can be found at this location: Torpark now includes red underline spell check plugin Free Play Free Play Before we start we remind you that stealing corpgov trash is like stealing and shooting heroin, The dealer is evil but so is stuff, it only prolongs your addiction as well as placing you in an easy position for close police investigation and incarceration Free swim It's ridiculously easy to waltz into a chain hotel and take use of their indoor swimming pool and hot tub. Most places won't check for room verification, or if they have swipe-card access, you can simply tag along after a group. This can be really effective by wearing a swimming costume under your clothes, getting in the ground elevator and hitting the top floor button. Quickly strip to your swimming shorts on the way up, then on the way down, just walk out carrying your clothes to pass off as a guest just coming down from your room. Bonfire parties/drum circles More of a social gathering then recreation, simply gather a few friends, and then put together a bonfire. Sprinkle with food and instruments (could easily be turned into a social conscious or spiritual gathering). If you're in a rural environment, you're in luck. Just build an appropriate bon fire in the middle of a field, near a lake, or your backyard. If you're in a suburban or urban setting, know the status of state or local parks and either build a bonfire, or use a designated fire pit. Poker If the weather gets too cold to hold a bon fire, a great alternative is an indoor poker game. Don't play for money- play for fake currency (candy, crackers, etc) or strip poker. The Mall The mall was (before the Internet and cell phone networking) probably the biggest place for middle/high school children to hang out. It is the pinnacle of Amerikan neo-fascist suburban culture: safe, alcohol free, and goods/services are available at ungodly inflated prices. Despite all you hear about malls being death traps for five-finger discounters, it's very easy to walk out with a lot of bargains that will make you the envy of all middle-class trash in your high school. First tip is to avoid department stores and music stores like the plague. These are a dying breed, and quite often prosecute shoplifters to protect their sagging profits. Try hitting up drug stores, electronic stores, sweets shops, and other small shops. Some malls have undercover rent-a-pigs along with uniformed ones. 90% of them in Amerika are unarmed, most don't have handcuffs, and quite a few just don't give a damn about their jobs, as they're probably getting paid slightly above minimum wage. If you're confronted by a rent-a-pig, try to force the confrontation in a public place. This looks bad for the mall, and gives you a chance to escape easier. Do NOT go to a mall office or any other private area. Rent-a-cop Psyche 101 Most of these mall security types are willing to take the minimum wage pay in exchange for feeling big when making a bust, others just want an easy no brainer job, just like real cops. Bragging rights may outweigh other considerations and common sense doesn't apply to many of these personality types. The excitement of victory over their human prey is sometimes enough. The younger of pseudo-cops usually love to watch their quarry be lead away to the squad car,they almost feel like a real lethal enforcer and crave the approval from the real cops. Mall Protest The mall is, however, made for more public protests. More than likely, you will have about 1-2 minutes to blurt out any revolutionary messages to the masses (like a food court) before the rent-apigs show up. Super Foam Distraction A good distraction for drawing off the security is to bring one or more a mega-gulp type cups full of concentrated dish soap or detergent, sit next to the fountain or waterfall display and break out the bottom of the cup and let the soap flow into the water. Depending on the fountain you will have just three to more than ten minutes until most of the mall security is investigating the terrorist bubbles which might take over part of the mall. This is a good chance to place a banner or other direct action while the rent-a-cops are watching the monster foam show. You can also try food dye or life raft marker dye, or a combination of dye and soap. This also works in outdoor fountains. Intercom Fun Watch a store employee use the intercom, it is usually a one or two digit code or get cool with a younger employee and see if they will give up the code. A really sneaky trick involves unmounting one of the intercom phones and stuffing it behind boxes on the top shelf, grab a tape player from the electronics or toy section, a few batteries, and activate your hidden intercom, play the tape, this should be good for at least a few good minutes of anti-big box store taped information, music, and comedy for the customers to enjoy. Records and Books Music Put new stuff here. If you have access to the Internet, there is a great deal of free music to be had. Songs, and entire albums of music in mp3 format can be downloaded from a variety of sources, such as: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Comfort Stand Recordings - Dave's Imaginary Soundspace - (Scroll down to "Podsafe Music Resources") Dramacore - D-TRASH Records - Entertainment Magazine - Evolution Control Committee - Futuristic Sex Robotz - Go Home Productions - - Grimeworld - - (A good FREE source of CC music for your Podcast) Internet Archive: Audio Archive - Kokoro Data MP3: Full album downloads - Mode of Proof Multimedia - MP3 4U - • Public domain tracks - Musopen - (All Classical and Public Domain) Public Domain 4U - SickMODE - QuoteUnquote Records - (Donation driven) Spacelab - The Who Boys - VOID - WM Recordings - Beware of the Blog - Most recent Archives - On the Download - Playlists and Archives - Podcasts - Free-form radio station WFMU has several places to download stuff from their archives: • • • • • Records Email, call or write to small record labels and ask if they give away free sampler or promo CDs or records. If they do, sign up for their mailing list and get some. When you've got cash, be sure to repay the good folks by considering buying some of their music. You could also try contacting bands directly, perhaps through their MySpace page. Ask them for demos or promo cds. Often they'll be happy to send you something, even if it is just a one song demo and sticker. Another easy way to join up with a college radio station. Bring a laptop in and rip all the Kelly Clarkson and Metallica you can get your hands on via the CD library. Free Books If a book's copyright has expired, there's a pretty decent chance it can be found at Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive or even Wikisource. Books still enslaved by copyright can be freed by looking through Usenet, Bittorrent tracker sites, and peer to peer downloading networks like Gnutella and EMule. These can be read on a PDA or laptop saving a tree, although they may need to be cracked with c-lit a free program which cracks Microsoft .lit files. With a little formatting and a spell check these are ready for printing. • • • Internet Archive (Texts): Project Gutenberg: Wikisource: If you're looking for audiobooks of Public Domain writings, a great source is LibriVox, an all-volunteer project. Never buy music or books from Borders or Barnes and Noble or Waldenbooks at the mall. These are the perfect example of conglomerate monopolies. Considering this is a book we're dealing with, it's especially important to stress this fact. The only thing you should be doing at one of these stores is spilling their coffee on the bookshelves. Frequent local bookstores, used book and record stores, and sidewalk vendors. If you become friendly with these owners and they know what you like, you're more likely to get first dibs on any new material that comes in. In local and used record stores, you can also often find promotional CDs for good prices. And these used bookstores are great, once you get friendly with the staff, for setting out your own chapbooks or artwork, either for sale or just up for grabs. If you're stealing books from the corporate chain stores, you can sometimes get the magnetized thing out by grabbing hold of both of the covers, and shaking it until a little paper-covered square falls out. Local libraries often have book sales. In some cases, libraries have annual events where they sell old books. Sometimes, libraries have a room set aside as a used bookstore on a permanent basis. While it takes some time to shuffle through the endless supply of bad romance paperbacks, you can usually find good reference material and other nonfiction books which have a relatively low circulation (but are of great interest to revolutionaries). Besides, buying books from libraries is good kharma. In some parts of the USA, budget cuts have caused public libraries to cut back hours and services, if not shut down completely, so every penny helps. (Don't even think of stealing library books or other resources! They have enough trouble staying open as it is! Borrow a book then scan it or photocopy it like hell, but always bring it back!) Libraries frequently discard books for various reasons. Dumpster diving is a great way to get free books, and library trash rarely includes the organic materials that make dumpster diving unpleasant. Big schools, aside from having libraries, tend to have a closet somewhere with piles of old class sets of books. They're either textbooks that don't have classes anymore or novels that aren't taught (for various reasons). A highschool had about thirty copies of Maus and Slaughterhouse Five, and some really interesting sociology textbooks. One of our writers received these textbooks that were given to her by the psych teacher who was just thrilled someone was interested. It's one of those things she found out senior year that she wished she known all along. It is better than the school selling them by the ton to a paper recycler CDs These days, if you have a computer, it is very easy to get free music with limited chance of legal reprisal. CDs can be borrowed from a library or friend and ripped onto a hard drive, making an essentially perfect copy. Do not ever try to steal a new CD. There is a little magnetized strip stuck between the plastic which holds the CD and the back cover. The only way to get it out is to break the case, which attracts a lot of attention. Other Reading Materials • • • • • • Infoshop Bookmarks - Large list of independent zines and sites with interesting reading materials. Nothingness Library - Spunk Library - Textfiles - Lots of textfiles, lots of topics WOWIO - "Set up a WOWIO account and then download free ebooks. That's all there is to it." (Due to copyright laws you must be in the USA, and you're limited to 3 downloads a day. All books require Adobe Acrobat.) Zine Library - DIY Links • • • • • • • • CRAFTzine - Project-based craft magazine DIY Happy - Lots of interesting DIY links...make just about anything yourself Fiziwig's How 2 Review - "How 2 Review scours the World Wide Web looking for the best do-it-yourself projects to help you become more self-sufficient." Instructables - "Step-by-Step Collaboration" MAKEzine - "Technology on Your Time" MAKEzine Instructional Videos: ReadyMade - "(A) bimonthly print magazine for people who like to make stuff..." YouCan - Just a list of things you can do. Movies and Concerts Movies MPAA Avoidance Most of us avoid movie theaters even if we can sneak in for free to protest the heavy handed MPAA attacks against Internet users pirates and innocents. Why make a dying breed appear to be popular by our attendance even if we by no ticket or snacks. Be careful most larger theaters are now equipped with military night vision goggles to catch pirates taping first run movies and send them to maximum security prison for ten years. Get a job for a few weeks at a big theater and swipe the goggles for our cause. Walk In Many theatres have arcades in them. Simply asking if you can play some games is often a ticket to a free movie. If you know the timing of movies, and have nothing better to do that afternoon/night, go to a movie and as it's ending (before the credits), go to the bathroom. Once finished (or after sitting in a stall for a minute), head to a recently started movie. If you time it right you can watch two entire movies for free! Alternatively (if your chosen theatre lacks an arcade), you can use the following method to gain a reduced price admission. Two people purchase tickets and enter a movie. One person leaves, with both ticket stubs in his pocket. He then hands one stub to a friend in a parking lot. The parking lot friend and the person who left then re-enter the movie. Rinse and repeat. (Note: if you're lucky, the ticket taker will recognize the person who first left the movie, and not ask for his stub, thus allowing him to give it to a fourth person.) Concerts Press Tickets Free concert tickets can be obtained by contacting a given artist's record label a few weeks in advance and saying you're from a music publication (online publications are the easiest to lie about in case the local print magazines have already called. Search the Internet for music zines) and that you want to review the show. They'll send you tickets or tell you who to talk to in order to get them, and if you're a good enough liar, you can get backstage passes. If you do get a favorable response, you can sometimes get one for a "photographer" too. This can either be given to a friend or sold to the really excited looking guy in the middle of the crowd for a pretty penny. The Pit A really good mosh pit can be the best part of a concert. Their presence in the pit is NEVER an excuse or permission to abuse women, they have every right to enjoy the rough fun of the pit without being groped or having their clothing ripped from them. It is the duty of every revolutionary to stand up and see that this and all violence toward women be stopped even if it means confronting a mob. Abuse is rare as most moshers hold to a code of honor will not accept abusers among them. If someone falls down push people back and help them up. The pit is all about rough love baby!! Skiing and Boarding Free Skiing and Boarding Through Hitching Often there is a long access road to ski resorts, down to the pass highway. An excellent way to avoid lines and get the longest runs is to ride the thumblift. Catch a ride from the highway up to the resort parking lot then board down to the highway. As it gets late, you will wait longer for rides up the mountain. Once you get tired or can't get a ride, hitch back to wherever you are crashing or ski over to your mountain snow cave. Gear Used ski and board gear is available cheap at thrift shoppes, auction sites, and even sometimes at military surplus shops. Board gear can sometimes obtained by swapping or shmoozing up a distributor. Never try to steal from a ski or board bum: their expensive boarding gear and some tunes is often all they have. Auction sites, pawn shops, used sports shops, and ski swap shows are all good places to look for gear. Some older strap down type snowboard bindings can use normal winter pak boots so you can save on that expense. Dumpster dive at ski and board shops and resorts looking for repairable gear. Check for sales on used rental gear at the end of the season. Clothing If you don't need to look like the stylish belle of the ball there are deals on ski gear for you. It is often possible to find military GoreTex jackets and pants at surplus shops. Get gear a few seasons out of date. Be sure to mix gear that will keep you warm and snow out when you wreck, be sure there are pit zips and vents so you don't start to sweat. If you are working hard GoreTex type breathable fabric is worth the expense, but new prices are obscene. Most of the swap meet knockoff gear is not really breathable GoreTex even if it says so, you are paying for copied style not function and you will sweat. If you go with a lightweight design your jacket shell works all year as a rain jacket. Be careful to de-new and de-logo your gear to prevent theft, this is a major problem with nice ski and board clothing. Only dress in wool or synthetics, cotton gets wet and stays cold. A good set of pak boots or soft boarding boots is important for when you are not on the board or skis. Mountaineering boots work for cross country and randone, leather boots are only good for summer skiing and climbing, Plastic mountaineering boots are comfortable and warm, get extra boot liners to switch when the other ones get damp. If bushwhacking a helmet is not a bad idea to protect from tree trunks and rocks, if you can't afford a ski/boarding helmet an oversize bicycle helmet is ok but has too many vents. See if your army surplus store has the bomber style wrap around hat, these really keep you warm and also close under your chin. Riding for Free At the Resorts Like in most other industries, people at a ski resort are paid jack shit. Most ski resorts only check passes at base lifts. This means if you can get past these, you can ride all you want without worrying about having a ticket or a pass. The simplest way to get past these first lifts is simply to ski past the people checking passes. Try and come up behind a big family or group, and slip by unnoticed. Hiking up to the second tier of lifts is an option as well. Often depending on the layout of the ski resort, one can drive or get a ride up on back roads that get one closer to the intended lift. Getting Free Lift Tickets In order to acquire cheap ski tickets, it is fairly simple. All you have to do is wait outside the resort entrance, maybe in the parking lot, until you see someone leaving the mountain. Walk up to them and ask very politely for their ticket. Offer them about $10 for it, and usually they'll say yes. Make sure the ticket isn't a half-day, and enjoy a cheap day on the slopes. Lodging If you can't find a girl/boy friend near the slopes you need to find a way to stay near the fun without spending money. Resort Dorm Some resorts give free rides and dorming to employees, if you can put up with a corpgov type slave job, often for a government subcontract resort operator, at minimum wage and homelessness on being fired this might work for you. A lockable foot locker is a good idea to prevent theft, a cable to a pipe stops the walk away thief, drill the bottom for wheels and a trailer tongue and in summer you also have a bike trailer. Snow Camping If you can save up for a decent gore-tex bivvy sack and sleeping bag you could try snow-caving which is digging into a snow bank or making an igloo and living inside, these snow shelters can be surprisingly warm. Another idea is to put your bivvy under the eaves or inside of an equipment shed or lift house at the the resort. These shelters can be pretty warm if you stay dry but if you get your bag wet you had better find a way to get to a warm place quickly before everything freezes solid. The GoreTex sack will serve you well in almost all solo camping but this is offset by their high price. A four season tent will take a snow load and keep you dry, but the bright safety colors contrast against the snow, you would have to camp far enough away that ski patrol won't bust you. Car A car is not a bad idea for a shelter, a sun shade can help keep the ice from getting too thick on the inside of the windshield. Don't be stupid and run the engine for heat, also don't use the car battery for light or music the cold will make starting hard already without draining the battery. Hot water poured on windows to de-ice can cause big cracks. An extension cord and hair dryer or small heater to warm the interior is ideal. Move the car every other day and hop resorts so that security and staff don't suspect the car is abandoned, staying in the town nearby may be an option see Cars for tips on living in a car. Music Most of what you need to know is in Pack Your Bag,Music, keep your electronics for the slopes dry, a small river bag for cell phones works, poke a hole for the earphones and remote if you have one, seal the phones to the bag. put the player near your stomach or armpit so it will be protected in case of a wipe out. Again prevent theft carry your music gear or lock it up. Cross Country Wether you are sneaking across the northern border in winter or seeking solitude in the unpopulated mountains, with the proper gear a snowy landscape can be easier than tramping a wilderness trail for travel. Cross country, randone, telemark skis, and split boards will get you across the land and even up hills on your trek. Snow shoes are mostly for those who can't ski or for walking around a camp after fresh snow, skis on the other hand are like a one speed bike that makes travel over the landscape so much quicker and with downhill slopes as free rides. Always look for used gear on auction sites, thrift stores, or military surplus sales. If you go to a resort shop you could easily spend thousands of dollars on back country or if you are thrifty and willing to give up some performance or durability around $100. Look at a few current books on the subject to stay up to date. Types of Skis The cheapest solution we have found is either using regular used cross country skis from a thrift store, or buying long resort skis, pulling off the binding and adding a military cable binding and skins of uphill travel. We have heard of people making the wide back country skis from wood, and bending making a double chamber shape for use with kick wax, bindings are made from cable and old school leather ski boots, mountaineering boots, or Norwegen welt boots are used, older cross country skis must be stored with tips and tails bound and a wooden block holding the shape in the middle. Skins All of these types of ski and board can use a one way climbing skin to keep from sliding down hill, almost all climbing skins are synthetic now. keep the skin waxed to prevent ice-up. Kick Wax Most cross country and a few kinds of randone skis can use kick wax that sticks to the snow this is also for getting up hills. You need a snow thermometer and several temperatures of wax to use during different parts of the day and from shade to sunlight areas. Be sure your speed wax is in good shape and this way of sticking to the snow lets you take downhills much faster than with skins attached. Haul Sled If you will be regularly moving large amounts of gear a ski sled might be wise to buy but we usually suggest getting a large toy plastic sled adding two PVC leads about two meters long and attaching this to a belt so you can control the sled downhill, speed wax the bottom of the sled for better sliding, two full length aluminum strips for runners can be pop-riveted on and fine sanded to give you better control. Towing your camping gear sure beats shouldering the load. Avalanche If traveling in avalanche country you should review your training in use of your avalanche beacon, avalanche probe (a tent wand with the string pulled tight or ski pole is a lame substitute) and shovel. If you want some ava-charges for much cheaper then retail and without a hassle, order fine Potassium Perchlorate to use as 70% and the finest aluminum powder for 30% from a chemistry or pyrotechnics shop. Put both chemicals in plastic sacks and pack them into a pringles can with a few feet of fuse, be sure there is a few cm of extra space for shaking the mix. When you want to blow the avalanche, mix the powder right there stick a long fuse and chuck it into the open, get to the trees or a safe place before it blows, know how fast the fuse burns. If you blow an avalanche charge without checking if their are people below you are likely killing them, don't set off an avalanche charge unless you are trained in their use. Snowmobile Towing If you are traveling with a group and a snowmobile is available many riders can be moved quickly riding behind using water ski tow ropes. Snowmobiles are very loud with two stroke motors which require special mix gas, most waste fuel if used alone. Winter Nutrition Stay hydrated, you will not feel very thirsty in the cold, dehydration is a real danger. Don't let yourself get sweaty or exhausted when working or traveling outside in the cold; many have died from hypothermia this way. Have a powerful stove designed for melting snow and a stainless steel kettle (aluminum might melt in the hot spots), add a little liquid water to kick start the melting, a small propane blow torch or alcohol burning gel may be needed to start your liquid fuel stove in extreme cold weather. Eat around 6000 calories if you will be working or moving hard or 4000 if sedintary, fats and protein should be prominent in the diet, don't forget fiber. Protect your head, armpits and groin to keep your whole body warm. Keep you hydration system or water bottles under your coat so they don't freeze and break. Field Repairs Be sure to carry a spare emergency ski tip for your group and binding repair parts and screws. Snow Caving If the snow will handle it dig out a snow cave with your mountaineering shovel. Be sure to stake ut the top of your shelter and don't make the interior too large. A snow cave is built by excavating snow such that the entrance tunnel enters below the main space to retain warm air. Construction is simplified by building it on a steep slope and digging slightly upwards and horizontally into the slope. The roof is domed to prevent dripping on the occupants. Adequate snow depth, free of rocks and ice, is needed. Generally at 4 or 5 feet is sufficient. The snow must be consolidated, so it retains its structure. The walls and roof should be at least 12 inches/30,48 cm thick. A small pit may be dug deeper into one part of the cave floor to provide a place for the coldest air to gather, away from the occupant(s), and the entrance may be partially blocked with chunks of snow to block wind and retain heat, although it is vital to prevent drifting snow from completely plugging the rest of the entrance in order to maintain a constant air supply. A narrow entrance tunnel, a little wider than a human leads into the main chamber which consists of a flat area, perhaps with elevated sleeping platform(s), also excavated from snow. Most sources agree that using tools such as a shovel and ice axe are vital; digging by hand is for emergencies only. If the terrain or snow will not permit a snow cave you might need to make an igloo. An igloo is blocks of snow laid in a spiral upwards fashion with the final block cut to fit the top hole. Steal This Factory Intro This section is designed to inspire us to not only avoid globalized trade items who are of benefit to our corpgov overlords but to have a ready substitute to replace many of these goods. Cory Doctrow and Neil Stevenson are perhaps the most recognised writers to confront the coming reality of home or local production and the devestation it will wreck on the current top heavy corporate control. How better to introduce this topic than by a perfectly applicable short story. In short we can take away the power of CorpGov if we are able to ignore them and take our work, time, and business elsewhere. Expect to see a war on home manufacturing to match or exceed the war on drugs as the manufacturers and tax men realize their centuries old scam is finally coming to an end. Print Crime Forematter: This story is part of Cory Doctorow's 2007 short story collection "Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present," Overclocked is dedicated to Pat York, who made my stories better. This story and the other stories in the volume are available at: Intro to Print Crime Introduction to Printcrime by Corey Doctorow: Printcrime came out of a discussion I had with a friend who'd been to hear a spokesman for the British recording industry talk about the future of "intellectual property." The record exec opined the recording industry's great and hysterical spasm would form the template for a never-ending series of spasms as 3D printers, fabricators and rapid prototypers laid waste to every industry that relied on trademarks or patents. My friend thought that, as kinky as this was, it did show a fair amount of foresight, coming as it did from the notoriously technosqueamish record industry. I was less impressed. It's almost certainly true that control over the production of trademarked and patented objects will diminish over the coming years of object-on-demand printing, but to focus on 3D printers' impact on *trademarks* is a stupendously weird idea. It's as if the railroad were looming on the horizon, and the most visionary thing the futurists of the day can think of to say about it is that these iron horses will have a disastrous effect on the hardworking manufacturers of oat-bags for horses. It's true, as far as it goes, but it's so tunnelvisioned as to be practically blind. When Nature magazine asked me if I'd write a short-short story for their back-page, I told them I'd do it, then went home, sat down on the bed and banged this one out. They bought it the next morning, and we were in business. Printcrime (Originally published in Nature Magazine, January 2006) The coppers smashed my father's printer when I was eight. I remember the hot, cling-film-in-amicrowave smell of it, and Da's look of ferocious concentration as he filled it with fresh goop, and the warm, fresh-baked feel of the objects that came out of it. The coppers came through the door with truncheons swinging, one of them reciting the terms of the warrant through a bullhorn. One of Da's customers had shopped him. The ipolice paid in high-grade pharmaceuticals -- performance enhancers, memory supplements, metabolic boosters. The kind of thing that cost a fortune over the counter; the kind of thing you could print at home, if you didn't mind the risk of having your kitchen filled with a sudden crush of big, beefy bodies, hard truncheons whistling through the air, smashing anyone and anything that got in the way. They destroyed grandma's trunk, the one she'd brought from the old country. They smashed our little refrigerator and the purifier unit over the window. My tweetybird escaped death by hiding in a corner of his cage as a big, booted foot crushed most of it into a sad tangle of printer-wire. Da. What they did to him. When he was done, he looked like he'd been brawling with an entire rugby side. They brought him out the door and let the newsies get a good look at him as they tossed him in the car, while a spokesman told the world that my Da's organized-crime bootlegging operation had been responsible for at least twenty million in contraband, and that my Da, the desperate villain, had resisted arrest. I saw it all from my phone, in the remains of the sitting room, watching it on the screen and wondering how, just *how* anyone could look at our little flat and our terrible, manky estate and mistake it for the home of an organized crime kingpin. They took the printer away, of course, and displayed it like a trophy for the newsies. Its little shrine in the kitchenette seemed horribly empty. When I roused myself and picked up the flat and rescued my peeping poor tweetybird, I put a blender there. It was made out of printed parts, so it would only last a month before I'd need to print new bearings and other moving parts. Back then, I could take apart and reassemble anything that could be printed. By the time I turned eighteen, they were ready to let Da out of prison. I'd visited him three times -on my tenth birthday, on his fiftieth, and when Ma died. It had been two years since I'd last seen him and he was in bad shape. A prison fight had left him with a limp, and he looked over his shoulder so often it was like he had a tic. I was embarrassed when the minicab dropped us off in front of the estate, and tried to keep my distance from this ruined, limping skeleton as we went inside and up the stairs. "Lanie," he said, as he sat me down. "You're a smart girl, I know that. Trig. You wouldn't know where your old Da could get a printer and some goop?" I squeezed my hands into fists so tight my fingernails cut into my palms. I closed my eyes. "You've been in prison for ten years, Da. Ten. Years. You're going to risk another ten years to print out more blenders and pharma, more laptops and designer hats?" He grinned. "I'm not stupid, Lanie. I've learned my lesson. There's no hat or laptop that's worth going to jail for. I'm not going to print none of that rubbish, never again." He had a cup of tea, and he drank it now like it was whisky, a sip and then a long, satisfied exhalation. He closed his eyes and leaned back in his chair. "Come here, Lanie, let me whisper in your ear. Let me tell you the thing that I decided while I spent ten years in lockup. Come here and listen to your stupid Da." I felt a guilty pang about ticking him off. He was off his rocker, that much was clear. God knew what he went through in prison. "What, Da?" I said, leaning in close. "Lanie, I'm going to print more printers. Lots more printers. One for everyone. That's worth going to jail for. That's worth anything." Copyright Corey is one of the most outspoken proponents of free licensing intellectual property and limited copyright. Steal his books and if you like them buy them! In the words of Woody Guthrie: "This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don’t give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that’s all we wanted to do." Creative Commons License Deed Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 You are free: • • to Share -- to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work to Remix -- to make derivative works Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor. Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. Share Alike. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. Any of these conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder. Under the following conditions: • • • • • Disclaimer: Your fair use and other rights are in no way affected by the above. This is a human-readable summary of the Legal Code (the full license): Means of Production Intro Since corpgov relies on the slave wage third world labor, finding locally made fair trade goods is difficult. Most tools and machine equipment is made in the main financier of Amerika, the Rulers Republic of China. We know how to bring back production of everything from bicycles to bedframes to weapons into our garages and shops. These are the tools to free your purchasing power from the medium and light industrial trusts. All of these machines require serious safety precautions to prevent loss of fingers and eyes as is true with all machine tools, always goggle up and only work when sober and awake!! Welding Most of us are too poor, or too infrequent, of welders to go out and buy an arc welding machine so here is how to make one. Materials: • • • • • • three 12 volt automobile batteries a set of jumper cables arc welding glass or goggles a length of #8 fence wire and vice grips (for variable resistor) Two jumper cable pigtails (to join batteries) welding rods Most auto stores sell the heavy wire and big clips for making jumper cable pigtails. The #8 fence wire resistor is shortened or lengthened to allow use of smaller diameter welding rod. This wire gets very hot, check that it is not drooping, it might droop so far that it touches and melts the side of your battery. Before welding remove all screws and bolts from your project and use a wire brush to remove paint at ground and where you are welding. As is standard, we suggest a positive ground (your bike frame) and negative rod. If you go below 36 volts (you have less than three batteries) it will be difficult to keep an arc going. ALWAYS use goggles, if you can't find welding goggles make a mask from your welding glass taped into a homemade cardboard welding mask If you don't protect your eyes you will be in a lot of pain and may loose vision, you can't even see the UV light that damages your eyes, so use proper eye protection. Practice with junk metal before welding on your precious bicycle frame. Between welds check your battery voltages, if any of them drop below ten volts it is time to stop and recharge. Precision cutting If you are out on the road and need to replace a custom part like a gear sprocket or derailleur cage on a bicycle or you just have no money for a custom part the easy way to precision cut some sheet metal or tubing to make a replacement is electrolytically. All you need is: • • • • • • a DC power supply(a car battery charger is perfect but even a little wall wart transformer will work) a non-conductive basin paint a tracing of your part a sharp tool or knife a piece of scrap metal 1-make a to scale outline of your part on paper 2-find a piece of sheet or tube metal the right thickness for your part 3-paint the whole surface of the part that will be submerged (leave a little bit bare for your positive (+) electrode) 4-Tape drawing to the painted metal Here is what to do: • • • • • • • • • • • • • 5-using a sharp point carefully scratch the outline where the metal must be cut 6-Attach the positive (+) wire to the bare spot on your metal 7-Attach the negative (-) end to a piece of clean metal scrap 8-fill your non-conductive basin with water and add salt until the water is very salty tasting 9-Place both your part into the water so all etches are submerged but the wire and bare spot are above water 10-Put the Negative scrap into the water, try to keep the wire above water 11-bubbles should form, you might smell chlorine, the process is working 12-watch the water turn weird colors, you can turn off the power and pull the metal out to look at if you like to see if everything is cut 13-once everything is cut you should be able to easily pop the finished parts out of the paint note: if the etch on a larger circle finishes before a square inside the circle the inner shape etch will stop as there is no circuit there anymore. If you are using a small wall wart type transformer keep the scrap electrode just close enough to your sheet metal to cause only small bubbles, don't ever let the two electrodes touch. BTW you can also use this mask and etch method using strips of tape or paint for a mask to etch the excess copper from a printed circuit board. Multimachine The multimachine project is a community effort that bypasses the expensive tool companies and designed and improves on an inexpensive, quality, full feature machine shop tool which would normally cost several hundred thousand dollars that anyone can build with recycled parts like old engine blocks and pipe. Several PDF files with complete instructions and a discussion and assistance community are available at What follows is copyrighted materiel released on a license compatible to our own: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License How can an easily built machine tool that is made from junk be "all purpose" and also accurate? Pretty simple! In almost every kind of machining operation, either the work piece or the cutting tool turns. If enough flexibility is built into the parts of a machine tool involved in these functions, the resulting machine can do almost every kind of machining operation that will physically fit on it. You may have heard of 3-in-1 machine tools -- basically a combination of metal lathe, mill and drill press. The MultiMachine starts there but adds many other functions. It can be a 10- in-1 (or even more!) machine tool that is built by using vehicle engine blocks in a LEGO-like fashion. The MultiMachine uses 6 unusual construction techniques to build 5 very simple "modules" that bolt to a worn out or broken vehicle or industrial engine block.The Multimachine • Using engine blocks as building blocks is the first MultiMachine feature. Since cylinder bores are bored exactly parallel to each other and at exact right angles to the cylinder head • • • • • surface, MultiMachine accuracy begins at the factory where the engine block was built. The second MultiMachine feature is that in the most common version of the MultiMachine, one that has a roller bearing spindle, this precision is maintained during construction with simple cylinder re-boring of the #3 cylinder to the size of the roller bearing outside diameter (OD) and re-boring the #1 cylinder to fit the overarm OD. The best part is that these cylinder-boring operations can be done in almost any engine shop and at low cost. An engine machine shop provides the most inexpensive and accurate machine work commonly done anywhere and guarantees that the spindle and overarm will be perfectly aligned and at an exact right angle to the face (head surface) of the main engine block that serves as the base of the machine. The third MultiMachine feature is that the spindle can be as simple as a piece of pipe made to fit the inner diameter of the bearings. The fourth feature is the addition of a third bearing to the spindle. The three-bearing spindle is necessary because the "main" spindle bearings just "float" in the cylinder bore so that the third bearing is needed to "locate" the spindle, act as a thrust bearing, and support the heavy pulley. The fifth MultiMachine feature is our unique way of clamping the engine blocks together. It's easily built, easily adjusted, and very accurate. The sixth feature is a concrete and steel construction technique that we resurrected. It was heavily used in industry during the first world war. An almost no cost version of the machine can be built by using engine blocks originally made with cylinder "sleeves" and then replacing bearings, adjusters and pulleys with parts cast from a very strong zinc/aluminum alloy that can be made from vehicle salvage. The details of the MultiMachine are available at the link included below. Additionally, at the group website there are plans for electric welders built from vehicle alternators, a design for an easily built hand-powered drill that is capable of cutting through the hardest steel and an easily cast metal alloy that is almost as strong as cast iron. Feel free to contact me directly for more information or visit our group site here: Multimachine Developer Pat Delany Palestine, Texas Get the PDF "how to Build a Multimachine" Casting If you can't make your part with sheet metal or tubing maybe casting aluminum is your answer. This is a great way to make parts for equipment you need or even jewelery to give as gifts or sell while on the move. Scrap metal For the best quality aluminum try to harvest an overhead cam aluminum cylinder head that doesn't use separate cam bushings, ask a mechanic to find such an engine model, then scrounge the junkyards. It is fine if the engine is ruined, we just want the metal. Get this large part near melting point and break it up with a hammer, now put the chunks back on the charcoal fire inside a steel pot you might need to use a blower to get enough heat, a shop-vac in blower mode might be too much a hair dryer on low should do the trick, attaching a steel pipe or tube gives the standoff to prevent a melted blower. Zinc can also be melted on a kitchen stove in a pot, silver needs more heat like aluminum. Lost Wax Method Lost wax casting is an ancient technology and can be used with most metals, be sure that the mold compound will take the temperature of the molten metal. • • • • • • • • • • • Make a full scale model out of wax. (paraffin isn't wax, Beeswax is) You can copy an existing broken part by making a two part mold from clay, with talcum powder separating the halves, around your glued or stuck together part and pouring wax into your clay chamber after you carefully remove the original part. Attach a conical stem also made of wax for the future pour hole pour a mold-making compound around the whole wax model, the end of the wax cone should stick out. You can use many mold compounds. (plaster of paris works and can be found in hardware stores for drywall repair) make a cardboard box about 2-3 inches larger on all sides than your wax model but on top. drip hot wax onto the a flat surface and stick the top of the wax cone onto it, it will look like a disc of wax supported by the cone. stick long pins box and into the wax object at several locations These are important to let air bubbles escape during casting. mix the molding compound and pour into the box around the pin suspended wax model shake or vibrate to get all of the air bubbles out, use your fingers in the mush to get bubbles away from your wax model Once the mold has hardened bake upside down in an oven over an aluminum pan to remove the wax Caution! Let your mold bake for several hours to remove all wax but more importantly to remove all water, or the mold might explode from steam spraying molten metal • • • Pour your metal Let everything cool overnight Crack the mold material off with gentle hammering How to use a microwave oven as your metal furnace: Plastic You can use this lost wax method to also produce plastic and nylon parts Be careful to not burn your plastic, cooking plastic scrap covered in an oven along with the mold is smarter then a pot on a stove top. Adding carbon or glass fiber strengthens plastic and nylon. If your widget needs a partly sheet metal frame one can be inserted into your mold before you heat it up and pour the plastic. Often plastic molding requires a vacuum assist, connect a pipe to your normal floor vac and on the other side to your mold, when the plastic is melted in the oven and you are ready to pour have a friend connect and run the suction. Polystyrene (aka styrofoam) can be melted with acetone. the act of pouring acetone on styrofoam turns it to a thick malleable mixture which is highly flammable. As the acetone dries out, the plastic becomes solid. Scrap Plastic Thanks to the recycling movement most plastics are numbered to make recycling easy, this makes our life easier too, now you can collect scrap based on the properties that you require in strength. Look on or near the bottom of containers you plan to melt. Number one and two are the most useful types of plastic, number three is almost useless except for burning, be careful of mixing numbers as they are sometimes quite different and a mixing could ruin your whole batch. Recycling by the numbers • 1-Poly(ethylene terephthalate): Soft drink and water bottles, vinegar bottles, medicine containers, backing for photography film. • • • • • • 2-High-density Polyethylene: Containers for: laundry/dish detergent, fabric softeners, bleach, milk, shampoo, conditioner, motor oil. Newer bullet proof vests, various toys. 3-Poly(vinyl cloride): Pipes, shower curtains, meat wraps, cooking oil bottles, baby bottle nipples, shrink wrap, clear medical tubing, vinyl dashboards and seat covers, coffee containers. 4-Low-density Polyethylene: Wrapping films, grocery bags, sandwich bags. 5-Polypropylene: syrup bottles, yogurt tubs, outdoor carpet. 6-Polystyrene: Coffee cups, disposable cutlery and cups (clear and colored), bakery shells, meat trays, "cheap" hubcaps, packing peanuts, styrofoam insulation. Other-A mix of numbers one through six or something else Other good sources are rope which is usually either polypropylene or Nylon-6 (nylon being much more useful). Piracy of Manufacture While the production using normal machine tools and forging metals in Means of Production is useful and able to be produced even in absence of high tech a new age of easy production is arriving. The intro story mentions a printer capable of printing almost anything that could manufactured or compounded. This is still near future at the writing of this book but we already have community projects working to disrupt the world of production. projects like Fab@Home are community based open and will allow us to truly seize the means of production by abandoning the old CorpGov supply chain. What would a world be like with free object designs that could be downloaded and turned into real objects as easily as we print pages now. Fab@Home This from Fab@Home released under the BSD license. Fab@Home is a website dedicated to making and using fabbers - machines that can make almost anything, right on your desktop. This website provides an open source kit that lets you make your own simple fabber, and use it to print three dimensional objects. You can download and print various items, try out new materials, or upload and share your own projects. Advanced users can modify and improve the fabber itself. Fabbers (a.k.a 3D Printers or rapid prototyping machines) are a relatively new form of manufacturing that builds 3D objects by carefully depositing materials drop by drop, layer by layer. Slowly but surely, with the right set of materials and a geometric blueprint, you can fabricate complex objects that would normally take special resources, tools and skills if produced using conventional manufacturing techniques. A fabber can allow you explore new designs, email physical objects to other fabber owners, and most importantly - set your ideas free. Just as digital audio and the Internet have freed musical talent, we hope that blueprints and fabbers will democratize innovation. While several commercial systems are available, their price range - tens of thousands, to hundreds of thousands of dollars - is typically well beyond what an average home user can afford. Furthermore, commercial systems do not usually allow or encourage experimentation with new materials and processes. But more importantly, most - if not all - commercial system are geared towards making passive parts out of a single material. Our goal is to explore the potential of universal fabrication: Machines that can use multiple materials to fabricate complete, active systems. How Can I Use this to Make Useful Stuff? If you seee the Fab@home machine you might wonder how useful a machine that prints 3D silicone rubber could be to mankind. Instead of rubber heat the syringe and print with real wax, you can make wax models to use in your Means of Production, Lost Wax Method Lost Wax metal forging. For Example If an affinity group were to make CAD drawings to feed to a fabber they could begin to turn out almost every part in their own co-op to begin bicycle and cart production and needing only sheet metal, metal tubing, paint, and aluminum and plastic melting scrap. Or You could make real your 3d computer art like at using simple parts and sugar as an inexpensive media. Or If civilian victims, simple innocent people facing genocide, could build a more advanced fabber with better tech, they could mass print their way to defensive weapons something like the STEN Submachinegun Or By printing the shape of the mold in wax and using that to cast a metallic production mold; sculptures, toys, and gadgets could be made for sale or use by the group, all from recycled plastic and scrap metal. All of these could be accomplished with a home made fabber with near term developments and a little ingenuity: • • • • • 3-D printing of wax or sugar CAD models for cast metal or plastic parts and lost wax (or disolved sugar) mold them Means of Production#Lost Wax Method Use a normal printer template and paint to Means of Production#Precision cutting precsion cut flat and tubular metal Using a simple improvised welder Means of Production#Welding they could assemble the finished parts If finer finish machining of the parts is needed a Multimachine could be built Means of Production#Multimachine A design or print could be applied to your design using a modified silk screen print setup Starting a Printing Workshop#Silk Screen Printing Beyond the Current Fab@Home The fab@home machine design currently uses silicone caulk screw ejected from a syringe to print items, more expensive industrial fabber machines either print binder into a plastic powder or for metallic items shoot a powerful laser onto a continulay added surface of steel powder. We expect creative radicals and nerds to swipe industrial lasers, mix binders, and build even cooler printers than are on the business market now. Future If at first you are disappointed on seeing the quality of the home made fabber machines remember that these users are at the cutting edge and building something that otherwise would cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Like the PC revolution of the late 1970's and early 80's those who accept the challenge will be ushering in a whole new generation of piracy where even physical objects will be freed for us to create our own bounty. Free Money 10. Original Free Money No book on survival should fail to give you some good tips on how to rip-off bread. Really horning in on this chapter will put you on Free-loader Street for life, 'cause with all the money in Amerika, the only thing you'll have trouble getting is poor. (Too bad it is not the rich 1960s anymore.) Welfare Workfare has made it nearly impossible to get benefits past one year for anyone, the corpgov needs your slave labor for the economy. Unemployment Lots of bong heads and boarders do the US Forest Service fire fighter, ski lift operator cycle year after year. They build up just enough hours at these slacker jobs to ride out spring and fall living off of the man while faking their job search records. Remember always apply for jobs making very high salaries during unemployment "job search" the worst case is you are not hired best case you are a brain surgeon or rocket scientist for two weeks until they discover you are and idiot and give you a $50k severance package. Play the unemployment out for as long as they will let you. Panhandling Original Panhandling The practice of going up to folks and bumming money is a basic hustling art. If you are successful at panhandling, you'll be able to master all the skills in the book and then some. To be good at it requires a complete knowledge of what motivates people. Even if we don't need the bread, we panhandle on the streets in the same way doctors go back to medical school. It helps us stay in shape. Panhandling is illegal throughout Pig Empire, but it's one of those laws that is rarely enforced unless they want to "clean the area" of hippies. If you're in a strange locale, ask a fellow panhandler what the best places to work are without risking a bust. Do it in front of supermarkets, theaters, sporting events, hip dress shops and restaurants. College cafeterias are very good hunting grounds. When you're hustling, be assertive. Don't lean against the wall with your palm out mumbling "Spare some change?" Go up to people and stand directly in front of them so they have to look you in the eye and say no. Bum from guys with dates. Bum from motherly looking types. After a while you'll get a sense of the type of people you get results with. Theater can be real handy. The best actors get the most bread. Devising a street theater skit can help. A good prop is a charity canister. You can get them by going to the offices of a mainstream charity and signing up as a collector. Don't feel bad about ripping them off. Charities are the biggest swindle around. 80% or more of the funds raised by honky charities go to the organization itself. New fancy cars for the Red Cross, inflated salaries for the executives of the Cancer Fund, tax writeoffs for Jerry Lewis. You get the picture. A good way to work this and keep your karma in shape is to turn over half to a revolutionary groups such as your local underground. Remember, fugitives from injustice depend on you to survive. Be a responsible member of our nation. Support the only war we have going! Ripoffs If you're all about scams, an easy way to make some small bread is to get a bunch of tupperware containers, cut coin slots in the lids, and print some labels saying "Change for the homeless" or something sad like that. Walk around and ask stores if you can put one on their counter for a week or so. Almost all of them will say yes, and if not, just give them a sob story about great people like Ghandi or some other bullcrap. Odds are that if you come back in a week, all of your buckets will either have $3-5 in them, or be stolen. Either way, for virtually no cost, it's a pretty good changemaker. If you have no soul, you can work this the other way, and rip off other organization's boxes. Just walk in with a clipboard and tell them you're here to collect them. Don't feel too bad though most of those organizations pocket 85% or so. The International Yippie Currency Exchange The International Yippie Currency Exchange Just wanted to help to shed some light on one of the great things from Abbie Hoffman's book. The Yippie International Currency Exchange is still alive and well. Here's a little bit of info that I tried just today 6 October 06. I went to my local coin dealer and took a U.S. quarter with me to use as a sizing guide. Well I spent about $2.00 to buy 24 coins that looked about the same size as the U.S. quarter. I then took these back to my office and tried them in the vending machines at work to see if they would work or not. Well I always say, "If it looks like a quarter, it will spend like a quarter!" Well I'll be God-Damned, it worked just like the original stuff said it would. So here's one way to triple your money in a hurry. Go to your local coin dealer and check and see if they have assorted foreign coins. If so buy them and remember, "If it looks like a quarter, it will spend like a quarter." Not all work well but those from Panama, Jamaica, New Zealand and Canada worked wonderfully in the place of U.S. quarters. But the others will work well in hand to hand transactions with the agents of corpgov at places like Walmart, Target and other overstocked corpgov greed monsters. So for those of us of the New Resistance, "Power to the People, and Down with the Greedy Corporate Monsters!" Long live The Yippie International Currency Exchange! It is a little harder now because of the Euro and the terrible exchange rate of the dollar. However, South American coins should still be a good exchange, and a lot of Asian currencies have low exchange rates, so you could try that too. Grifter Tricks Further information on this Yippie International Currency Exchange. Here's a wonderful little trick that I worked out that will turn $4.00 U.S. into $10 U.S. What you do is this. Go to a local coin shop and buy about 40 quarter sized coins. (Here near where I am you can buy foreign coins for about $0.08 U.S. a piece.) The next thing to do is to get a rolling paper for a roll of quarters. Then the first coin in should be a U.S. quarter and then you fill the tube with the foreign quarter sized coins until you have put 38 of these in. You then put a final U.S. quarter on the end of the roll and close the end tightly. This now creates a situation where you have a $10 quarter roll made of foreign quarters and you've used $0.50 of genuine money to create this. Then take this to one of the Corpgov agents like Wal-mart or any other large store. When the line is busy go up with about a $1.00 item and purchase it. Then you'll receive the $9.00 change from giving the cashier the quarter roll. Usually they won't even crack the roll open to give you change back. Plus to insure they don't it's always a good idea to carry a few small coins to cover the taxes on your purchase. And if you should by some unfortunate chance get your roll cracked open and the cashier questions you the simple answer is to play shocked and swear that you had just given somebody else a $10 bill in exchange for the quarter roll and you got scammed. Usually this will work. I've tried passing the foreign coins as quarters in smaller amounts and it has worked 100% of the time when I've claimed that I got them back as change from someone. If you're really ballsy and want to fuck the bastards good you might try giving this quarter roll over to a bank or a casino in order to get the full money back. But not sure if the chances of them busting the roll open is higher or not since I've not tried that one. At least with most Corpgov agent retailers you're dealing with teenagers who usually don't give a damn or you're dealing with those people who aren't the sharpest tool in the shed if you know what I mean. Just another way to stick it to the man plus it's quite fun. I hope you enjoy this as much as I have. Sources Just a little further info for you all who might be wondering where to get the coins that I've mentioned above. The best source that I've found is your local coin dealer shop. However if you don't have a coin dealer in your area then E-Bay has a section where you can find bags of several pounds of these coins being sold for just a few dollars a piece. I have tried this gig personally and know that the quarter roll gambit above works wonderfully and that it has returned for me a 200% or more profit in just a few days. Many vending machines will give you a different coin than the one you put in when you press the coin return button. I've only used this property to search for coins of interest, not for any scam, but I'd estimate you can feed a couple hundred coins through before you start to get back the ones you put in. Older machines seem not to recycle coins and will sometimes eat your money or reject all coins once their change supply is depleted. Using this technique to exchange foreign coins would require a very close match to the target coin, but it's also much less risky than walking into a store and hoping they don't catch on and call the cops. DIY Inflation Just an addition on money when one is in a tight spot. If one has access to a color copier or a scanner that will copy in color then one has access to a quick way of counterfeiting a dollar bill that might be passed in a vending machine. Don't try this with other money as the security features will allow the vending machine to tell a counterfeit from a real thing. But I've done some checking and desktop counterfeiting will work in almost all cases of money but all U.S. bills except for G.W. have security measures to prevent copying as the original work has suggested. But $1 bills lack any security features aside from the paper they are printed on. Look at the type of paper your dollar bills are on and then try to match that paper up with something similar at the office supply store. Then use that paper to copy the front and back of dollar bills to and you should end up with a crisp new dollar bill that will pass in most vending and change machines. Just remember that counterfeiting is a Federal Offense and will bring you lots of trouble if you're caught. And you will get caught -- all color printers/copiers sold since the very early 90's have a "watermarking" feature -- they print a grid of faint yellow dots, nearly invisible to the naked eye, over all their printouts. This grid contains information such as the printer's serial number, batch number, etc -- allowing the FBI to track a counterfeit bill down to the very machine it was made from. At the very least, make sure you purchase your printer (and the paper) in a retail store a good distance from your home, and pay cash! More importantly with watermarking the feds will know every bill and document printed comes from one printer and not waste their time trying to run down multiple counterfeiting rings. Trying automated in store coin counters with foreign coins We bet it would work and would give you a credit slip, but how much you wanna bet the machine has a camera that takes a few frames of still pictures or video every time it is used like at the ATM machine? Look at the machine for pinholes or windows (maybe black plastic to us, but IR transparent so it will take an infrared black and white shot) or cameras nearby watching the machine. Free Dope Free Dope A warning to those on the streets: Don't use anything intoxicating. If you're trying to live free and stay alive to fight, then it's not the time to mess with your mind. Wait until you're safe before using a recreational substance. Although the revolution is supposed to go hand in hand with drugs, when things get really hard they'll act only as a wasteful distraction. Alcohol and tobacco are used by CorpGov to sedate the populace and drain them of their hard-earned money. No revolutionary should be tied down to a substance that could hinder their capacity to fight. If the government comes down on us, food gardens, not pot gardens, will allow us to continue the fight. If you do choose to take controlled substances, be weary of their effects and health risks. There's nothing easier for a cop to take down than a strung-out hippie who can't even use his own weaponry. Never go into a large-scale protest under the influence, especially if there may be a chance of things getting messy. Pigs have been known to seek out substance charges at rallies, etc. in an attempt to "thin out the numbers", so it's important that you don't roll to a demonstration carrying anything. There's one exception: if you choose to use civil disobedience as part of a drug war protest. In that case, if you're prepared to deal with the consequences of your actions, toke/sniff/drop your way to reform. If you use anything other than pot, keep in mind that many drugs come from countries such as Colombia, where much of the cocaine production is under the control of gangs and drug-lords. Many of these drug lords are oppressive to the poor, and to the non-corrupt citizens of their respective countries. In recent years (2007), international drug trade has been directly linked to the CIA and other CorpGov organizations. The revolution against the CorpGov of the world must be fought on all fronts. Someone smoking Columbian dope at a fair-trade rally is nothing more than a hypocrite. Drugs (Check out Cheap Thrills and, Growing Your Own, for more information and ideas) Despite what D.A.R.E. and other bullshit anti-drug problems tell you, drugs aren't "life-ruining" if you use them the right way. Ultimately, you're the one who should get to choose what risks you're going to take, and you should be able to decide what substances you want in your body and what substances you don't. Some drugs are very dangerous, and others are next to harmless, and it is your responsibility to educate yourself on which ones are which. A Cautionary Note Drugs can be a tool and they can be a waste of revolutionary effort. Just remember that the law of economics states that everything you do has a marginal cost and benefit. Every time you think of downing some shrooms or dropping a couple tabs of acid, you should weigh the productivity of doing the drugs against starting an underground newspaper, organizing a protest, attending classes, growing food, helping out at communes, passing out literature, planting trees, writing the next best expatriate novel, or traveling on a freight car. The price of that ounce of weed or hit of acid could have fed the homeless guy down the street for two days, or paid for a second-hand college text book. The same cost/benefit principle applies just as easily to any fun activity that costs money and takes time without actively helping the revolution or its brothers/sisters. If you consider violation of the law to be a strike back against the Pig Empire in and of itself (as Abbie did), doing drugs may come with the fringe benefit of being illegal and helping recruit new rebel soldiers. Drug use can also result in the following undesirable outcomes: chemical addiction, psychological addiction, a hefty fine or jail term, support of multinational conglomerates (by buying pills which were originally purchased by the dealer and not stolen), support of violent foreign drug markets, the endangerment of children (most methamphetamine labs are located in homes with children residing), and inner-city violence (inner city crack and heroin markets tend to be founded upon intimidation and profit at any cost, often resulting in murder to keep the industry secure). Breaking Free of Propaganda When deciding what drugs you would like to try, it is crucial to do as much research as possible, and to distinguish the true information from the propaganda. A good attitude towards drug information is skepticism: doubt everything you hear about drugs (whether it's good or bad) until you see some hard evidence indicating that the information you're getting is good. Bad Sources of Drug Info: • • • • Authority figures and establishment types with a history of lying or manipulation (this means most parents and teachers) Drug-worshippers who think a little doobie is the solution to world peace Pigs and CorpGov officials (especially the FDA, DEA, FBI, CIA, and customs agents) Free-to-edit online wikis (yeah, you heard us) Legit scientists (check their qualifications and methodologies for their studies) Long-term, responsible, honest users Good Sources of Drug Info: • • • Try to collect info from a diverse range of sources. Talk to people who have done the drug, and/or read the stories of people who have done it (a Google search or a check in the Erowid vaults should turn some up). Read scientific literature detailing the possible harms/dangers of the drug. Look for articles by people pushing against the drug, and figure out why they are so against it. Investigate all possible symptoms and beneficial effects. Watch for things that sound too good or too bad to be true. Unfortunately, there is no drug that will instantly cause world peace. Likewise, there is no drug (yet) that automatically ruins your life with no help from you (although there's plenty that can kill you or hook you on the first try, so be careful). What drugs are the most and least dangerous? As a general reference, this is a decent list of the relative health dangers of various drugs. It's listed in approximate order from least likely to kill you to most likely to kill you. (Some people may disagree on the specifics, but this should give you somewhat of an idea.) Fairly Harmless Drugs • • • • • Shrooms - low probability of a bad trip Salvia - notorious for causing informative but uncomfortable bad trip Weed - nearly impossible to OD (you'd pass out first); possible memory loss with many years of heavy use (this effect is reduced by quitting for a period of time); also contains more tar than cigarettes if smoked, but is thought to carry no additional risk of lung cancer BZP - dehydration possible (drink plenty of water), serious risk when mixed with alcohol, low chance of serious adverse reactions (palpitations, seizures), some report nausea/vomiting Ecstasy (pure) - pure Ecstasy contains only MDMA, so it's reasonably safe; don't take too much, don't use it too frequently, and don't drink with it. Causes tooth chatter and grinding, have a baby chewy to prevent tooth damage. Moderate Risk Drugs (Use sparingly) • • • • • • • • • LSD - only use if you're comfortable with yourself, your co-trippers, and your surroundings, no physical danger or overdose possibility ever reported, rarely causes early precipitation of incipient and developing psychiatric problems. (Have a mellow trip-experienced but nontripping ground control person with comforting items and chill music to help new or bad trippers.) may cause tooth chatter and grinding, have a baby chewy to prevent tooth damage. Caffeine (ultra high dose)- small risk of heart problems (including heart attacks) if you OD and/or have congenital defects Tobacco - extremely addictive, increases risk of cancer, lung disease, reduces athletic ability, psychological problems may include justification of antisocial behavior to obtain more drug Ecstasy (impure) - often cut with various things, such as amphetamines and hallucinogens (triptamines); placed here, although any unknown impurity carries an unknown risk; be paranoid unless you know that "Ecstasy" is pure MDMA. Causes tooth chatter and grinding, have a baby chewy to prevent tooth damage. Cocaine (not crack) - risk of heart problems (including heart attacks), especially if you have congenital defects; perforates your nasal cavities; psychological problems include justification of antisocial behavior to obtain more Amphetamines (adderall, dextromphetamine)- habit forming, some risk of heart problems (including heart attacks) especially if you overdose/use frequently; effects can vary greatly; psychological problems may include justification of antisocial behavior to obtain more. Causes tooth chatter and grinding, have a baby chewy to prevent tooth damage. Ether - inhalation danger from impure mixtures which can damage the airways and lungs, reduces lung capacity and efficiency GHB - AKA gamma-hydroxybutyrate, Sodium Oxybate; Xyrem: Gives a buzz just like alcohol but without hangover, good for personal use, but... due to its low dosage effects is also a common date rape drug. After a few hours it is undetectable by drug testing. It has become difficult to determine safe dosage since it was made illegal in 1999. Addiction is similar to alcohol. Dextromethorphan - AKA Robotussin, Anticholinergic, often makes user feel they are having heart problems (although this is almost never the case, it's caused quite a few 911 calls.) Anecdotal reports of heavy repeated use causing significant damage. Harmful Drugs (Body-Fuck Drugs) • • • • • Alcohol(Chronic Abuse) - very addictive, poisonous, can damage your liver, may affect growth if consumed when young, can cause birth defects if used while pregnant, relatively easy to consume a lethal amount, known to cause several psychological problems Crack cocaine - fast acting short lasting, habit forming, significant risk of serious heart problems, regular use use often leads to total disreguard of health, added danger due to poor street quality and questionable cutting, causes major psychological problems, esp. with repeated use. Causes tooth chatter and grinding, have a baby chewy to prevent tooth damage. Heroin - very addictive, easy to fatally overdose, carries risk of blood-born diseases such as Hepatitis B or HIV (due to unclean needles) Methamphetamine - habit forming, substantial risk of heart problems (including heart attacks), nasty side effects (teeth rotting from enamel damage, etc.), causes disreguard of personal health, habitual use is very weakening, causes paranoia, changes personality, street quality often quite poor. Causes tooth chatter and grinding, have a baby chewy to prevent tooth damage. PCP - easy to OD; long term use leads to severe psychotic episodes; can cause violent personality changes Making Plans & Not Getting Caught Once you're sure you want to do a drug (or multiple drugs), you need to go back to the drawing board and research the safest way to trip. This research can take the form of consulting experienced users and reading up on tips. When you feel comfortable with what you know, start making plans. These should include scheduling enough time that you can get home sober, spend the night elsewhere, or at least appear sober when you get home. Getting caught with drugs is not fun. Tips for not getting caught: • • • • • • • • • If you're smoking a drug, wear a jacket and bring body spray or cologne. That way you can make sure the smell's off you. If you're smoking pot, bring eyedrops. Red eyes are a dead giveaway. If you're doing a psychedelic, have a tripsitter on hand to make sure you don't draw too much attention to yourself. Arrange your excuses ahead of time and make sure everyone with you knows what the story is. Don't do it around anyone likely to bust you or turn you in. Don't bring drugs anywhere you're likely to be searched. Don't drive. Ever. Cars are designed for sober people, not people under the influence of a drug. If you're in public, don't look like a drug user. Look WASPy or like a part of the average CorpGov world, and you'll avoid suspicion. Free Dope One of the easiest ways to score is by attending the right kind of parties. Many people will give out substances to those willing to experiment, and others believe that drugs enhance the atmosphere, and thus will hand them out. The more people on something at a party, the more solidarity there is, and the more synchronized the various party experiences are. Plus, it's no fun to smoke alone. Some people give out drugs because they want something, so be careful. If they're handing out X, coke, or anything else that's expensive, easily tampered with, or addictive, they probably want to hook you. You should recognize this as a ploy and stick to your personal drug plan. They may also want to fuck you literally as well as metaphorically, so don't drink anything from a communal bowl, and don't leave any drinks unattended. The single easiest way to score free dope is to join the drug culture. This is especially true when you're trying new things, and is most applicable weed. It's an accepted practice that your first toke should be free. Don't mooch though: once you become a regular member of a group, people will start to grumble about you not paying. The Stoner Culture In almost every circle of drug users, there is an underground ring of fellow drug users. In many cases with psychedelics like LSD, shrooms, or weed, it's a pretty friendly lot. As long as you act nice to them, chances are they'll be nice to you. Obviously, you will not make many friends in a drug circle if you're vocal about your use to others (nix this if you live in San Fransisco or Amsterdam), act like a jerk or a complete spazz when your high, or mention their name to any law enforcement officer. It's best never to approach a person (even if you know they're a dealer) asking for drugs if you have never met them. It's recommended that you meet them through a friend or meet them in person (like a casual run-in). The next time you see them, then ask. Each group of smokers vary differently, but some general substance terms are: • • LSD: Acid, sid Ecstasy:: X, E • • Xanax: Zannies, bars, Z-bars Marijuana: ** High quality: dank, chronic (North America) ** Low quality: skunk, schwag ** General: grass, green, bud, chronic (UK), herb, weed, pot • • • • "to smoke out" - to get someone high with your weed "ashed" or "cashed" - only ash left in a bowl "bowl" or "piece" - a bowl for smoking marijuana "tabs" - tabs of blotter paper soaked with LSD Buying Search out a reputable dealer, or ask your friends who's got what. Many educational institutions are thriving drug markets. Ideally you should buy from someone you know well -- but it's your call as to whom to trust for your drugs. If you are worried about your safety, bring a friend. It might freak out some dealers, but there are some times when it's worth it. Remember to check the quality of the product before you hand over the money. If you're buying from a new source be paranoid and check for impurities and added substances. Safe Use / Harm Reduction So now you're using drugs. Maybe only a little, maybe kind of a lot. Either way, it's time to talk about addiction. Addiction fucking sucks. Life is too sweet to miss out on relationships and activities and radical politics just for drugs, and an addict doesn't do any social movement any good. Besides, drugs are supposed to be a choice, and an addict isn't choosing any more. It's a painful, unhappy lifestyle that you don't want to get yourself into, and once you're in that trap, it's very difficult to get out. Opiates are especially dangerous in this respect. Remember, the only dope worth shooting is George W. Bush. The first and most important rule of drug use is to stay recreational, and keep in control of your use at all times. Use small quantities, keep an eye on how important your drug use is becoming to you, and strictly monitor yourself for signs of obsession or addiction. It is important to maintain very strict discipline and self control. Try to refrain from drug usage if you feel your control slipping at any time. Remember that you should be the one using the drugs; they shouldn't be using you. Some things to keep an eye out for when is how much you're using, how big of risks you're taking, and whether or not you can have fun without using. Also watch out for upgrading in the strength of the drug. If someone approaches you with concerns about your drug habits, don't dismiss them as worrying too much. Evaluate yourself to see if there is any grain of truth in what they're saying. If you think they might be right, try taking a break. See how much you miss the drug. See how long you can go without it. Another important thing to keep in mind is that once the revolution comes, our opposition can use your experience with drugs to discredit you to the public or before a jury. Because of this, unless you don't give a shit about jail terms or your reputation, you'd be well advised to keep your drug habits quiet and only share them with people you absolutely trust. CorpGov propaganda has demonized anyone who uses anything they don't sell (alcohol, tobacco, pharms, etc.), so most citizens won't give two shits what's done to someone who's described as "a drug user". Consequently, drug users are usually the first social group to be oppressed. Getting Clean Getting off some drugs like heroin is a real pain in the ass, yet others (like acid) you couldn't do day after day even if you wanted to. There are programs out there to help you get clean, check at the hospital, shelter, city clinic, etc. Sometimes you have to go along with someone else's philosophy to stay in the program -- play along if you have to in order to get and stay clean. Remember that every time you try to quit and fail, you make your next attempt that much harder. Once you are clean, stay away from those that do or sell drugs; the drug culture itself can be a hard habit to kick. Be careful what drugs you take for medicinal purposes; ask if they're addictive before the doctor hands them out. Cheap Thrills o, you have $12 in your pocket and your stash is depleted. What to do? Here's a list of easily accessible stuff that may make life more interesting: Warning NOTE: IF YOU WANT INFORMATION ON THE SAFETY, DOSAGES, AND EFFECTS OF VARIOUS DRUGS, CHECK OUT EROWID.COM A message to those youth on the streets, don't do any of these drugs, or even alcohol, you need all of your survival skills. At best you can wake up with your stuff missing, at worst you wake up with some stranger raping you Freeing yourself and others from the system is very hard when you are brain damaged or dead. Keep in mind that the lower dosages presented are for general usage, in both business and personal use. Higher dosages are recommended only for experienced users, don't blindly trust us do some research. The Physicians Desk Reference can be found at libraries, it is a huge reference on Corpgov prescription drugs. Like testing a strange plant that might be poison start with small amounts and titrate up if you wish to try the drug again with stronger effects. Beware mixing meds, some drugs will potentate others sometimes making them many times more powerful, the same is true for street drugs. Not all drugs are as safe as cannabis, shrooms, and acid. There are those that say that what broke the back of the 60's revolution was hippies distracted by screwing and getting high. Most of the hippies we know only remember the drugs and only a little protest or fight. They are mostly retired businessmen now. Discipline is what we need in this movement, we hope this fun time stuff will help those who like to get high join us as they already realize how totalitarian the government is in the war on drugs. All right. You’re sitting down, ready to learn. You’re a responsible adult. You’re not at work, you’re not driving, and you’re not responsible for any small children or firearms. You’re ready to have a good time. Let’s get started. Tolerance With most drugs, you will build up a tolerance to it if you use it frequently. What might be a light dose for a heroin addict could very well kill a non-user. The only way to stop this from happening is to abstain for a period of time. With any drug, if you are unaware of the dosage to take, start small. Check Erowid (a wonderful web resource) and see what a "light" or "moderate" dosage is, then aim for somewhere in between. In most cases, you can always get more goods, but replacment bodies are hard to come by. WARNING! Dangerous Additives in OTC and Perscription Meds If you find an over the counter syrup, capsule, or pill which in addition to the desired drug includes Acetaminophen, Paracetamol, Tylenol, Panadol, Acamol, fever reducers, ache reducers, or any other similar or unknown ingredient DO NOT USE IT TO GET HIGH!!! The amount required to get high will sometimes have enough of these acetyl-para-aminophenol chemicals to poison your liver potentially even in one large dose. Liver poisoning of this type can not usually be treated and the death takes several painful days or weeks. Paracetamol toxicity is, by far, the most common cause of acute liver failure in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Fortunately many of these meds can with some investigation be found without the additives. However, moderation and careful readings of labels can help prevent issues like this. You don't need to be scared off just because something is prescription (although you also certainly shouldn't assume something is safe because it's prescribed). If the docs are prescribing it for someone, there has to be a safe way to take it. Just be careful, read everything you can get your hands on, and treat scripts like any other drug. Dextromethorphan (DM or DXM) For those of you who are unaware, this is cough medicine. A lot of high schoolers used it to get high. Despite the negative rap given to it by the Amerikan Gestapo, this is a pretty safe drug to use if you find cough medicine with just pure DXM. Avoid anything else, no compromises. DXM gel caps work well and beat downing cough syrup...about 200mg of either capsules or syrup-prepared DXM will give you a light trip and 400mg is a heavy dose. Anything over 800mg is too dangerous for the average user. It's like taking acid and smoking opium laced with PCP. Be forewarned, most states you'll need to be 18 to purchase any DXM products. Also, look for dollar stores that carry it. Warning Although it will give you a "high" of sorts, there is no guarantee that the trip will be a pleasant one. Judging by user's past experiences, a bad trip is just as likely as a good one. One thing's for certain though: you will have a disorienting, strange, and probably memorable (for one reason or another) experience. Benadryl (aka Diphenhydramine) The active chemical in Benadryl, diphenhydramine hydrochloride, is also available in allergy medications and sleep-aids. Some pills have acetominophen (Tylenol) that will kill your liver if you take too many. 150mg is a light dose while 700mg is a very heavy dose. It kicks in around 30-60 minutes after you take it. On a light dose of Diph, you may get auditory hallucinations. It does change the perception of music, slightly. You also get really tired after a while. This stuff is sold as a sleep-aid, so no wonder. I've never been able to resist the temptation to fall asleep. Using Benadryl is like playing roullette. You never know what it will do to you. For those interested, a first-hand account of a negative experience using Benadryl can be read here. Morning Glory Seeds These seeds contain LSA, LSD's little brother. Although the LSA can be extracted, it's a bit easier just to eat them straight, although this makes some people feel sick. Make sure that you buy "Heavenly Blues", and also make sure you're not eating ones treated with poison! About 200-300 seeds will give you a LSD-like high. Be sure to wash them and grind them up, you'll be sick as hell if you don't (and you may well be sick even if you do.) Extracting the LSA will prevent the nausea, but will also take a fair bit of time and some knowledge of chemistry. Keep in mind that in Amerika, it's illegal to extract LSA (or ergine as it's sometimes called) under the Federal Analogues Act -- so watch out for cops if you do on a large scale. One morning glory seed contains about 0.01 mg of LSA. Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seeds These seeds, like Morning glories, contain LSA (also known as ergine). I haven't personally tested these out, but know that they are about 25 times more powerful than morning glories (per seed.) One HBW seed contains about 0.25 mg of LSA. Caffeine No, don't laugh. Did you know you can buy pure caffeine? Yes, some health stores and eBay sellers will sell caffeine powder. About 100g can be found for $10-$20. While the high isn't extraordinary, it's an energy boost. Be forewarned, more than 5 grams in your system and you could be looking at a hospital trip or heart attack. Don't try this if you have heart murmur or other heart problems. The median lethal dose (LD50) of caffeine is 192 milligrams per kilogram of body weight in rats. In both Kanada and Amerika, caffeine can be bought in pill form (NoDoz, Stacker 2, etc.)over the counter at many pharmacies. In some cases, stores will require you to be 18 to purchase. Moonshine If you want to stay away from harder (chemically, and harder to obtain) substances, don't forget about the solution that has been around since the dawn of civilization. Done correctly, moonshine is safe, cheap, and will taste good. The knowledge necessary for distillation (necessary to reach alcohol levels above ~18%) is beyond the scope of this entry, and you should look for information like at with almost no equipment or prior experience. Keep in mind that just about any sugary or starchy fruit, vegetable, or liquid without preservatives can be fermented. Your best bet is to find overripe fruit or pick whatever is available locally. For equipment, you will need a cleaned milk gallon with pinholes poked into the lid. Simply blend/mash about 1/3rd of a gallon of fruit, add 1/3rd of a gallon of water and a packet of bakers yeast, and stir/shake it. Close the gallon and let it sit in a cool area for a few weeks. Then, filter the liquid with a coffee filter. Fly Agaric Mushrooms (Amanita Muscaria) These bad boys contain the mind-altering chemical muscinol. These provide a high similar (but not the same) as shrooms (Psilocybin mushrooms.) You can buy them from eBay for about $20/oz (usually 3-6 good doses in an oz) In some people, these mushrooms cause extreme nausea, so be prepared. Milk thistle can help to counter some of the side effects, especially if you're worried about liver damage (Amanita Muscaria has been known to cause some liver damage, especially in high doses.) Although they have not been responsible for any deaths yet, they are poisonous when taken in sufficient quantities. A typical starter dose is only a couple grams, so don't overdo it! Also, the only psychoactive strain is Amanita Muscaria -- the rest of the mushrooms in the Amanita family are highly toxic and WILL kill you. As always with mushrooms, if you're not sure if it's safe, don't take it. Poppies Real opium poppies if you can get the seed or find them growing are like happy beautiful red weeds which grow in spring. Score the bulb that is below the flower body before they bloom and collect the resin, this is opium and can be rolled with tobacco. Poppy seeds are usually cooked killing them but try seeding a few packets in your backyard and see what turns up. Cactus Some cacti (Peruvian Torch and San Pedro) contain fairly high amounts of mescaline. It takes about a foot of fresh cactus or an oz. of dried cactus to start flying on air mescaline. Dried cactus runs about $20/oz or about $15 for a 12" fresh piece. Or of course, you can run into the desert and grab a piece. Nitrous Oxide Available as whippet cartridges which resemble short BB gun CO2 cartridges these can be popped inside a balloon or plastic sack with a sharpened tool or cartridge popper sold in some head shoppes, many places have caught on and will card whippet buyers. Some car racing stores can sell you a a tank of nitrous. NEVER use a mask or jet the gas directly into your nose or mouth as it will likely freeze part of your face or tongue. Fill a trash sack if using a big tank, tape a straw or hose to the end and share like a hookah, this will give the gas a chance to warm up. If you work in a grocery store grab a whipping creme can discharged without shaking and held with the jet upright will give a lungful of nitrous and a nice buzz, exhale as far as you can before breathing the gas. Ether Ether now sold in spray cans as starting fluid for cars used to be the surgical anesthetic of choice. Spray some into a large #10 coffee can stick your face in and breathe, you will start to trip in about thirty seconds and have some freaky/cool weird dreams and visions. This stuff is super flammable it is best to try it in a outdoor area far from any fire or electricity. Like all inhaling keep use to a minimum, more than once a month is way too much, having a sober friend close enough to help if things go bad but far enough away to not interfere with the visions and dreams is a good idea. The idea of a #10 coffee can is you can't easily deprive yourself of oxygen and if you fall asleep the can will drop out of your hands and you will wake up in about a minute. Don't try this with other volatiles like gasoline as these can cause chemical burns to the face and airway, and never use a sack over your head for any reason. If raw ether cannot be obtained and starter fluid must be used, spray the entire contents into a plastic bag or jar, wait for the chemicals to separate, and remove the bottom liquid (a turkey baster works well for this) Non-Chemical Thrills Yogic Breathing Lay down on a comfortable spot in a quiet place and close your eyes. Take a very deep breath through your mouth, drawing it into your guts. Hold it for the count of ten, and slowly let it out through your nose. Repeat. After a few minutes, you will get a buzz! Don’t undervalue the practice of meditative breathing as a regular practice. Once you become good at it — which means you’re at a point where you can quickly begin meditating without listening to a relaxation or meditation soundtrack — you can enter a stage of consciousness that is extremely pleasing and very healthy. Stroboscopic Lights First of all, make certain you don't have photosensitive epilepsy or other nervous disorders. This can trigger a serious seizure! Get a strobe flasher with adjustable speed (one that can flash at least three times a second) and set in on a shelf, facing you. Sit in front of it and close your eyes. Be certain that the light is flashing directly into your face. The light flashing through your eyelids will hit your optic nerves and the repeated flashes will alter your brain's oscillations, causing you to "see" rapidly changing colors, shapes and geometric patterns. Some have claimed to have gone into hypnotic states and even hallucinations, but all you need to "snap out of it" is to open your eyes. Long pieces of instrumental music (like the spacey "New Age" stuff that was so hot in the 1980's) will help the effect, but music with vocals can often hinder the effect, since your brain is trying to understand the lyrics. Walking or moving along with friends is trippy too. Artist Brion Gysin and scientist Ian Sommerville created a flicker device called a "Dreamachine". It consists of a light bulb hanging inside a large cardboard tube with patterned holes cut through it, which is spun on a phonograph turntable. Sit in front of it in a dark room, switch the turntable on, close your eyes and enjoy the show. You can make one yourself for a few bucks using a thrift-store record player and large sheets of posterboard. If you can't score a turntable that runs at 78 RPM, there are plans for a 45 RPM version. Check the following for more info: • If you want a free sample, you can try an on-line version here. Remember to turn off all the lights in the room and face the monitor's screen. Miscellaneous Many people dig salvia leaves. Not being extracted, it takes about 2-3 bowlfuls for a high, or a massive amount kept in your mouth like dipping tobacco. Extracts are very good, but expensive, and the high is short lasting. Using compressed air (keyboard cleaner) gives a stimulant-like high and for about five minutes afterwards, everything is warped and twisted. It's a fun high, but you'll really pay for it one day. Just stick to Mexican swag, and you'll be fine. Some prescriptions give really good highs. Some do nothing, and some can kill you. Just check what you're doing before experimenting. The Pill Book is an annually-printed paperback book that you can find at the pharmacy. Look for medication that has a side effect of “euphoria,” and you’re on the way. It’s common for most of these kinds of pills to be given at doses that will make you high, so don’t overdose, or think that you need even twice as much to feel anything. You’ll remember from high school health class that you should never take anyone else’s prescription medication. In general, this is not really true. Unless you have allergies to a medication, it’s probably safe to take whatever you might run into with your friends. If you are taking other medication, prescribed by a doctor, then, you do need to be more careful about what you’re doing, because when prescription meds really get iffy is when they are mixed with another prescription. Otherwise, most pain pills and psychotropics are commonly prescribed to pretty much everyone. Some pills can be ingested by chewing them, but this should be done cautiously if at all. Chewing (or crushing them up with the back of a spoon inside another spoon) the pills often brings the high more quickly. The downside, and the danger, is that you take in all of the medicine at once, which can either waste your high or risk your life. So, be careful. Never, ever crush anything that you haven't already used, and try to get as much information about the medicine before taking it beyond the normal dose. Some pills are made with a time-release coating which dissolves in your stomach and releases the medicine inside slowly. If you chew these, you’re going to waste it, because the coating gets all sticky and prevents the real medicine from being properly absorbed. Chewing your pills can be handy if you’re not in a place where you can get away with grinding up pills in front of people, but always try crushing it before you chew it, or you might be in for a yucky surprise. Of course, if you are too tough to pretend you're eating Flinestones' vitamins, you can grind up a pill and snort it, just as you would with coke or heroin. This generates an even quicker and more intense high than chewing the pills. Be careful, and never, ever incorrectly digest any medication until you are well versed with its normal dose and effects. In general, the big problem with using pills as a regular high is the rate of addiction. In addition to becoming psychologically addicted, which can happen with everything from PlayStation to chocolate, many (most) types of medication that give you a high are also extremely physically addictive. Even taking an opiate like Oxycotin for a couple of days can result in an episode of withdrawal and can take a long time to endure and can range from very uncomfortable to really, really sick. All things being perfect, if you’re going to use pills for a kick, only use them for a night or so. If you use them for any length of time, try very hard to watch your dosage, and keep enough to last about two days to come off the pills, by reducing the dose by about half every other time you take it. For a night out, if you don’t go nuts with the booze (which you should try to stay away from if you’re taking pills), some medication can provide a very pleasant and non-intrusive buzz, and it can last a while. Myths There are a lot of stories about household substances and other common stuff that can get you high. Most of these are, unfortunately, untrue. For instance: Aspirin and Tylenol - They can kill you with an overdose but they won't get you high. Baked Banana Peels - This started as a joke that got entirely out of hand. Supposedly the peels contained a psychoactive compound called "bananadine" and if you scraped the insides and let them dry, you could smoke them and get high. It doesn't work, and there's no such thing as "bananadine". Catnip - I have never known anyone (besides a cat) to actually get high off of this stuff. Cola-Cola and Aspirin - This is an urban legend dating back to the 1950's. It will not get you high, nor cause instant death, nor is it an aphrodisiac. Huffing - Might get you high but many of these chemicals will burn your face or bronchial tubes. Benzine, which is found in most glues and paints, is a known carcinogen. Nutmeg - If you're looking for the crash and sickness of a coke or heroin ride, but without a high of any significance, go with nutmeg tea. Rope - Real manila hemp has a negligibly low THC concentration, no buzz. Rosemary - Yup, you just bought fake weed and it won't get you high. Selenium - A handful of these will produce a minor buzz, but will damage your kidneys even more. The trade-off isn't worth it. Growing Your Own This article has been updated from the original. Grow Your Own Pot is a weed and as such grows in all climates under every kind of soil condition. We have seen acres and acres of grass growing in Kansas, Iowa and New Jersey. If you're not located next door to a large pot field growing in the wild, maybe you would have some success in growing your own. It's well worth it to try your potluck! The first thing is to start with a bunch of good-quality seeds from grass that you really dig. Select the largest seeds and place them between two heavy-duty napkins or ink blotters in a pan. Soak the napkins with water until completely saturated. Cover the top of the pan or place it in a dark closet for three days or until a sprout about a half inch long appears from most of the seeds. During this incubation period, you can prepare the seedling bed. Use a low wooden box such as a tomato flat and fill it with an inch of gravel. Fill the rest of the box with some soil mixed with a small amount of fertilizer. Moisten the soil until water seeps out the bottom of the box, then level the soil making a flat surface. With a pencil, punch holes two inches apart in straight rows. You can get about 2 dozen in a tomato flat. When the incubation period is over, take those seeds that have an adequate sprout and plant one in each hole. The sprout goes down and the seed part should be a little above ground. Tamp the soil firmly (do not pack) around each plant as you insert the sprouts. The seedlings should remain in their boxes in a sunny window until about mid-May. They should receive enough water during this period to keep the soil moist. By the time they are ready to go into the ground, the green plants should be about six to eight inches tall. If it is late winter or early spring and you have a plot of land that gets enough sun and is sheltered from nosy neighbors, you should definitely grow grass in the great outdoors. One idea is to plant sunflowers in your garden as these grow taller than the pot plants and camouflage them from view. The best idea is to find some little-used field and plant a section of it. Prepare the land the way you would for any garden vegetable. Dig up the ground with a pitchfork or heavy duty rake, removing rocks. Rake the plot level and punch holes in the soil about three inches deep and about two feet apart in the same way you did in the seedling boxes. Remove the young plants from the box, being careful not to disturb the roots and keeping as much soil intact as possible. Transplant each plant into one of the punched-out holes and firmly press the soil to hold it in place. When all the plants are in the ground, water the entire area. Tend them the way you would any other garden. They should reach a height of about six feet by the end of the summer and be ready to harvest. If you don't have access to a field, you can grow good stuff right in your own closet or garage using artificial lighting. Transplant the plants into larger wooden boxes or flower boxes. Be sure and cover the bottom of each box with a few inches of pebbles or broken pottery before you add the soil. This will ensure proper drainage. Fertilize the soil according to the instructions on the box and punch out holes in much the same way you would do if you were growing outside. After the young plants have been transplanted and watered thoroughly, you will have to rig up a lighting system. There are several types of lighting systems one can use. The cheapest and easiest is to use fluorescent bulbs. They run cooler and more efficiently than most types of lights. You need alot of light to grow good grass. Try to use about 8000 lumens per square foot of growing space. (You can find the lumen output of a light bulb by looking on the box.) The only other truly acceptable lighting system is a HID (high intensity discharge) system. These use much less energy per lumen and output incredible amounts of light. The most efficient type of HID is a High Pressure Sodium setup. You can buy an HPS setup from Lowes for about $70. You'll need to modify it to suit your purposes. Be careful when playing with electronics. If you can afford it, HID systems are well worth the money, and will drastically increase the size and potency of your final product. If you choose to use fluorescent bulbs, keep the bulb about 2 inches away from the top of the plant. If you go the HID route, you'll need to keep the bulbs about 2 feet away from the plants. As the plant grows you will need to move the lights higher. Be sure to consider this when you're setting up your system. There are 2 stages of plant growth, and each stage needs a different lighting schedule. The first stage is called the Vegetative stage. This is when the plant is focusing on growing its roots, stem, and leaves. During the vegetative stage, your plants will need 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness per day. Buy yourself a cheap vacation timer to turn the lights on and off automatically. The vegetative stage lasts for about a month, depending on your plant. To tell when the plant is moving into the second stage, check the nodes where the leaves grow out of the stem. If your leaves are coming out of the stem directly opposite each other (in a Y shape), your plant is still maturing. Once the nodes start to alternate, change your light schedule to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark. This will force the plant to move into the second stage, Flowering. Flowering is when the magic starts to happen. Your female plants will start to produce the beautiful sticky buds we know and love. The female plants have a larger and heavier flower structure and the males are somewhat skimpy. The female plant produces the stronger grass and the choicest parts are the top leaves (including the flowers). One suggestion for indoor plants is to build a grow-room. There are many resources and suggestions on building a chamber to grow plants in (not just the herb!), but one way on the cheap requires a brand-new metal garbage can, two or three cinder blocks (or bricks), and a small lighting fixture (see above for lighting tips). For ventilation, punch small holes in the bottom of the can with a hammer and nail, and raise it off the ground by putting it atop the cinder blocks, then rig the light inside the lid. The shiny interior surface will distribute the light on all sides. Yes, it will look like something out of a Cheech and Chong movie, but it will get the job done. If you have bugs chewing on your plants, go to your local health food store and buy a small bottle of Dr. Bronner's Liquid Baby-Mild Soap (the unscented kind). Dilute it about 1 part soap to 2 parts water, pour it into a spray bottle, then spray the plants with it. Dr. Bronner's is a very mild, vegetable-oil based soap and won't harm the plants. However, it will taste very bad to the bugs and they'll go elsewhere. Assorted Freebies Computers Serviceable computers are available at flea markets and yard sales for under a hundred bucks. I got one for twenty bucks at a flea market, and now I'm running Ubuntu Linux, and baby I am never going back to windows as a mainstay! Check out the want ads in your local paper. Good advice in general, that one. Schools and government offices upgrade huge batches at once and hold semiregular auctions. Ask around or go to the reference desk at your local public library and just ask. Another tactic is to hang around on a place like freecycle or the free section of craigslist, where people are giving away computers all the time. If all you need is a machine capable of email/web/word processing, check curbside the night before trash pickup, preferably in clueless yuppie neighborhoods. It is absolutely appalling how many perfectly serviceable machines end up chucked out simply because they aren't top of the line anymore, or stopped working because the previous owner picked up some kind of malware while looking for kiddie porn. Nothing a formatting and a linux distro won't fix.... Even better is to find a computer shop that going under and go trashing and see what u can find, or even ask them if they have stuff they want to get rid of for cheap. No matter how badly virussed out a machine gets, you can almost always bring one back to life by burning a Linux LiveCD, booting "the deceased" off the CD-ROM drive, and just hitting INSTALL. Download the .iso file and select an option on the CD burning program like "burn iso/burn as a bootable disk". Linux sources are at the end of this article. Rebels and progressives of all sorts should learn how to use some version of Linux or other at least for the big three: surfing, email, and word processing. Try and be aware of the Free Software and Open Source movement that is causing such a stir in the intellectual underground scene these days. N.B.: Federal Instigators and other ex-COINTELPRO types have deeply infiltrated the American radical community, often in semi-leadership positions, so if you try and turn people on to Linux or anything technical and useful they'll often try to kick you to the curb. No kidding, the CIA will call you the CIA, and say "we don't want to learn all that technocratic fascist computer stuff, man. Linux or whatever you call it." The Man wants radicals to "yin out" and all be hippies, and learn massage therapy and messed-up hallucinatory mystical nutritional theories, not how to run a web-server, firearm safety, plumbing (you might make money!), electronics, chemistry, international business, or how to file a lawsuit. Get Yang in your head and Stay Yang, y'all. You know I'll always love ya! Linux Love Understand that there is no realistic way of fully tamper or snoop proofing a MS Windows system, the whole thing is secret and we have no idea how many of these security holes were ordered by Uncle Sam. MacOS has a reasonable claim to being a secure platform due to its deep OS code being open source. Linux and BSD have real claims at being as close to bomb proof as possible. Known exploits are quickly published and fixes are available often in a few hours. Jumping on to a Linux system and expecting to be instantly as good at it as you are on windows is not gonna happen, but you can get on one and start knocking around, it's not that hard. It is a very empowering tool, though, and you generally meet a better class of people in the Linux/Unix communities. You will be a lot happier if you read a book on Linux, even a "For Dummies" book, after you get the stuff installed. Yes: after! It's that easy to get done, and get going. Ubuntu is probably the best compromise between being easy to use for a former windows user, and being able to do all kinds of stuff. Ubuntu is an African word that basically means "treating people right". Knopper Linux is quite nice, the one that kicked off the whole "boot and install from CD-ROM" family of Linuxes. Not for a beginner unless your either noticeably smart, or you are very dedicated to cutting loose from software that takes your rights away and gives them to Hollywood, music, and software companies while pretending to support the artists that it is also shafting horribly. This distro allows you to boot into memory and have a safe diskless system which wipes after power off. Debian is the only software I have ever heard of that comes with its own constitution. These days it is called a "Social Contract with the Free Software Community" and it involves treating people right it is the base for Knoppix, Ubuntu, Damn Small Linux and many other distros. If you want a bomb proof server run Debian stable. RastaSoft makes a Linux version called Dynebolix. It is especially designed to put the tools for media production into the hands of people that have no money and plenty to say. In other words it's made for activists. Includes graphics tools that are free and nearly as good as PhotoSlop, video editors, Open Office (yeah!), and No Games at all, how radical is that? Note, a lot of old machines that won't run Windoze or the general Ubuntu or kubuntu Windows managers fast would better be made to run fluxbox, the best lightweight window manager out there. Damn Small Linux was designed for exactly this purpose and has fluxbox window manager it uses many older kernel modules so it will detect and run on old hardware Volunteer at freegeek or similar computer recycling places (links should be on the website) and they'll give you a free functional computer, for as little as 24 hours of service. Live CD's Damn Small Linux Damn Small Linux is a quickly growing CD booting Linux distro that is designed to be burned to a business card sized CD. It is a super light build and is excellent to install onto the hard disk of an old 486 or Pentium computer to bring it up to date. Slip your DSL disk into a school, netcafe, or office machine and you get your favorite operating system, possibly network access, and usually the ability to browse most of the contents of the hard disk. Also, you can usually install it on a flashdrive and boot from that. Knoppx Knoppix is currently the primary CD bootable Linux distro, it has most every option and program from office to hacking all on one bootable CD, a must have in any hackers toolkit. It leaves no evidence over on the host system if you reboot. Ubuntu Ubuntu is a Linux operating system good for those who are not computer techies and still need to use theirs or others computers , comes in an installable live cd (Pentium 2 recommended by me) otherwise very similar to knoppix , leaves no evidence on host system if not installed. Security One of the first places the cops go for evidence against us is our computers. If you are using Linux/Unix install and use "wipe" to overwrite the files you use, there will still be evidence that you had that "bad" file if you are using a journaling file system but it will destroy almost all of the data, M$windows has several of these secure overwrite delete programs as well. If you have one of the media or multifunction buttons above your keyboard remap it to run a delete script to "wipe" a secure directory or series of files, of course this is only useful if you are at the computer when the cops move in. Another option is to set the computer to wipe certain directories if the password is not entered properly but remember that smart investigators know tricks leaving no possibility of sneaky delete programs. A good idea is to keep your disks clean of questionable material, keep that stuff in your head. Recovering Files Off of Hard Disk On an unencrypted drive just booting into Linux from a CD will allow you to mount and browse the files on a system. If your CD will not boot try checking the boot options in the BIOS. If you have access to the inside there is usually a pin you can jumper to clear the BIOS or you can take a drive home over the weekend and hack it at home. Recovering Windows Passwords It is often nice to have management passwords to your work or school machine here are the hacks you need. Also try this, Start the machine and hit Ctrl-Alt-Del twice at login time, you will see a "Log On to Windows" menu where you can type a User Name and Password. for User type “Administrator” (don't type the "quotes"), in Password leave it blank. Hit Enter key. If nobody changed the admin login from it's default, you will have full administrative privileges as Administrator. Ophcrack A Linux live CD , just burn it and then start it up like a normal live CD, select the passwords you want to crack in the program that opens as soon as it finishes starting and press go (will take about 15 minutes a password so just crack the admin if that is all you need) Computer Information recovery tools A simple cookie viewer for IE. Displays all passwords and AutoComplete strings stored in your Protected Storage.] Recover the passwords of instant messenger programs IE history viewer Recover Office/Windows CD-Key automatically scans for cookies by IE, Netscape and FireFox Great for password recovery link to the iso file for the live cd "Ophcrack faq for "Ophcrack" Custom software for hacking windows passwords Note: most live CDs save nothing(a few let you burn changes to free space), to carry documents with you; get a flash drive, one gig should suit all your needs. ddrescue This Linux program available in your package manager which will help you rescue deleted files or snoop a hard disk. Notebook Computers Power Almost every laptop ever made has a 100/220 power supply, which will work anywhere in the world . Many creative power sources can be imagined to use with an auto/air 12v laptop adapter if the power loss is low enough, a cheap 12v to 110v converter may be more practical and thrifty if used only in a car. A solar charger which looks like a folded three ring binder is sold for around $300 and is commonly seen at Mt. Everest base camp, we are looking for a cheaper source of quality solar cells to to build a packable charger which can provide reliable 20-24 volt power and 24 amps. Old Laptop Converted to Fast Linux An old freebie laptop can be loaded with a scaled down OS like Damn Small Linux which will give you modern applications like the Fluxbox window manager and runs fast on even 486 and Pentium machines. A word to those who would try to buy these at a thrift/junk store, we have seen ancient 386 laptops priced at $200, it is better to squeeze out the cash for a new or barely used laptop than pay money for one that is very old. Laptop Protection The LCD screen is most vulnerable, a hard object in your pack can easily break the glass inside it. Pad the corners from impact obviously you must avoid dirt, dust, and moisture. (however, make the outside of any laptop look like complete shit, scratch the outside to hell, duct tape it a little, and cover with fun stickers, be creative) Laptop Security, Locks Use your head when getting online, laptop openly used in many places says "I am rich and have more cool stuff, follow me and rob me!" Hostels are also a really bad place to let anyone see anything valuable. A cable lock will stop the less brazen person from walking with your laptop when your back is turned, be sure to secure the cable loop around something secured to the wall or floor, a non folding chair is another idea. OLPC There are several designs meant for third world students, we see promise in a market full of foot powered low power drain mini laptops. If the project is not messed up we are very excited. The eeePc and several other offerings have similar capabilities and also run Linux but are intended for an American and Asian market. DIY Laptop For around $200 (2006 USA dollars) a person can buy a mini-ITX everything integrated system board, LCD screen, power supply, and keyboard and with a little imagination some plastic or sheet metal skill they can build a budget laptop. A rechargeable battery pack makes it really mobile and peripherals can be connected by USB. If you can rig the unit to run off of a flash drive, that will save on battery drain but be sure your OS is set up to not use disk swap on the flash drive or this will wear out the flash media quickly, DSL Linux for example. PDA and HPC Modern PDA's or pocket PC's have many of the powers of a computer although they lag behind in raw number crunching required for games, code cracking, and processor intensive tasks. PDA's are suited to portability and stealth. HPC's (handheld personal computer) have similar processing ability but have half VGA wide screens and small but usable QWERTY keyboards, these are beautiful for writers who need a keyboard and full width screen but want to have long battery life. Palm, WinCE, etc. Corpgov controlled OS's but useful if you find the right applications. Palm is currently close to releasing a Linux based Palm OS but its hackability is still in question, we have high hopes. Windows CE or mobile machines can often to varying degrees of difficulty be converted to Linux. Linux Free, Open, Smart, if you can get you handheld to boot linux and run X windowing systems you have put off obsolescence for many years. Zaurus Available cheap on the used market this PDA is made to run our free Linux operating system, sadly Sharp has discontinued the line. Ångström Linux for ARM Mobile Devices Angstrom is the follow on and sucessor to many of the distros for ARM based handheld devices like the Zaurus series, Ipaq's, Nokia 770's, SimPads, Mobilepro 900 HPC's, and OpenMoko phones to name a few, it has both stable and unstable releases and is currently very active. Wired ethernet and Wi-Fi If you are really into hacking then be sure to have both 10baseT and Wi-Fi cards for your PDA, while it might be impossible to get into a secure office with a laptop rarely will anyone question a PDA the same hacking programs on yor Linux laptop should be installed on your Linux PDA. With Wi-Fi, after sampling WEP/WMA packets use a GPRS phone or card to send them to a more powerful server and crack them with real processor power. Power draw is a concern currently Socket brand WiFi and ethernet cards are the most efficient. PDA Power Some PDA's have after market solar, crank, cigarette lighter jack, or AA battery powered boosters which are good for where you have been denied access to power mains. See Cycling, Other Things for a design to use a bike generator to charge phones and PDA's Portable Device Security A sparkily little gem like a new PDA or Smartphone draws attention, sadly many radical hangers on have no morals and are just angry punks, just like a fancy MP3 player they also attract street thugs. Best to keep a shiny new gadget hidden, stickered up, or gunged up to reduce apparent value. USB Key OS boot In addition to fitting on a business card size CD, Damn Small Linux can now be installed to your USB memory key! Have all of your favorite files and a familiar desktop on almost any modern computer. File Security If the cops catch you, you can bet they will sniff around your USB key. Don't entrust vital info to a keychain drive; memorize it. Lower value info can be encrypted or stenographed into a picture or song, and most piggies can't figure something like that out, but again, don't ever underestimate them. Wiping Flash Memory Unless you have access to a low level debug program for your USB key, assume that even if you have deleted and overwritten a file, it still resides on the cells of your flash memory device (flash MP3 player, memory card, USB drive, etc). The only 100% way to destroy all data on a Flash device is to grind all of the chips inside into powder with a hammer. Even microwaving the device until it burns isn't good enough for the truly paranoid. For most usages, though, deleting all data and then filling the drive with random data files until there is no room once or twice will usually overwrite all previous data. Be careful, though, as doing an empty-fill-empty cycle shortens the life of the flash chip if done on a regular basis Portable Versions of your Most Used Software Several sites like will provide you with trusted open source applications that you can safely run from your USB drive: word processors, instant messengers, e-mail, SSH, FTP, and web browsers like Firefox and its more secure upgrade TORpark. For more secure usage, or if you fear a keyboard logger has been installed, you can use virtual keyboard and notepad portable. Eraser portable to help clean up the machine you have been using. These programs will run from the key drive, usually never leaving any trace on most host machines. Single board Computer and LCD In auto install If you like riding in a rusty coffin why not build a on-board computer, there are plenty of single board computers, LCD screens, and wifi cards that will take 12v power, it will also increase the theft value of your car so you can start riding your bike more. Hacked Linux Routers A fun hack is to get a cheap linux router add kismet wifi access point auditing tool and connect a GPS to the internal serial port. With battery power you can scan large areas of town for open access points and record their location. With the appropriate mass-storage hardware or a drive on a USB port available as a hack on many models, a wireless router that has been reflashed to be a normal command-line Linux system can be secreted inside a wall, panel, ceiling, or even off-site, and accessed wirelessly. Off-site secure stores can be very difficult to locate, if they are known of at all, and require additional search warrants. Most Linux based routers can have other linux programs added for at least the time it is powered up by adding compiled programs to the /bin folder, don't forget to add the required libraries. Openwrt goes so far as letting you add packages and treating the flash area as a disk instead of a firmware storage area. DD-wrt has a easy interface to allow Internet users to access your network by auto updating your IP address with a dynamic DNS service. DD-wrt basically takes a $25-$100 router and turns it into a $500-$1000 class router. For example with the DDwrt firmware upgrade you can have your router establish a VPN to a server far away obsuring all Internet traffic on this encrypted tunnel, you can keep a dynamic DNS service updated of your current IP address for serving a website from a DSL line, and you can adjust your WiFi transmit power. Using the Input/Output lines for several LED's and buttons a SD card can be added to most broadcom based routers, DDWRT will then allow installation of applications form the OpenWRT repositories. Radio Ham radio operators have invented several amazing ways to get information to another place without easily being detected unlike cellular or direct Internet. Of course a guerrilla will have no qualms failing to identify herself with a call sign. Don't expect super straight hams to help you once they know what you are planning, you will have to set up your own network and hope that the bunny hunter (armature radio ops who track illegal operators and turn them in to the FCC) can't follow your changes in location. Packet Radio Higher possible bits per second using higher frequencies VHF/UHF/Microwave but easy to pinpoint if used from a fixed location mostly line of sight only. PSK31 Slower data transmission usually used with HF bands, difficult to pinpoint these low frequencies but easily will allow digital intercontinental communication by bouncing off of the ionosphere. Other sound card modes of digital communication There are many other digital modes and a visit to will get you started. OSCARS Satellite communication Free open amateure radio satellite uplink with no hacking required, you need just a few hundred dollars in gear (or the ability to build your own). Some OSCARS satellites can even be commanded to retransmit from memory over a different continent your voice or email message. Electronics Another good place to find electronics is the local thrift store. Many people just donate perfectly good equipment, accessories and cables if they don't need it. You can get expensive older stereos, speakers, computer equipment, monitors, televisions, cables, even old cellphones and appliances, all for cheap. Most good items will be sold quickly, so be sure to check back often. To get a leg up, and a discount, offer to volunteer in the electronics receiving area, testing equipment. Now you can get first pick of all the items donated, and access to some items that won't normally be put out on the floor. Come in once or twice a week and spend an hour testing anything that looks interesting to you. Chances are, you'll also be allowed to set the price of the items you test. Even without a little price gouging, you'll be able to get items that would sell for hundreds of dollars new for five or ten. Laundry If you live near a college campus, they often have free (or cheap) laundry machines for the students to use. Go to the nearest campus, wait by the door with your laundry, get let in by some sorority type, and make your way down to the laundry room. They tend to be placed in the basements of residence halls. Students often leave detergent around, so cop some of that, and you're golden. See also Low Impact Crashing for more ideas. Original Laundry Wait in a laundromat. Tell someone with a light load that you'll watch the machine for them if you can stick your clothes in with theirs. Pets Intro Since STB was written nearly 40 years ago, much has changed in the world of free pets. The Pig Empire doesn't give out free buffalo anymore due to animal-rights people going ballistic and environmentalists going nuts about stripping them from their native wilderness. Still though, there is no excuse to pay for a perfectly adequate pet. Pound Puppies Check animal shelters, SPCAs, and Humane Societies. It would be in your (and the pet's) best intererest to try the animal shelter first, as they still often put animals to sleep while the latter two avoid doing so. With vaccinations, sterilization, microchips, and ID tags, you can get a pet anywhere for free or reduced cost (almost always under $50). Be forewarned, many of these places do a brief inspection of the animal's future home and owner, so clean the place out, shove your brothers and sisters in the basement, and take the bong off the coffee table. Un-Cut Craigslist and local newspapers always have pets for free/reduced cost. Free pets won't be damaged by genital removal or dribble problems from a botched spaying that the In-Humane society requires to avoid the pet death sentence. Un-mutilated pets are often more hyper and spirited, much like undrugged ADD teens.... Food and Board In terms of paying for shelter or food for your pet, check to see what your animal can/cannot eat and in what proportions. You can often make a nutritious meal for your animal using household food stuffs for a fraction of the price of PetsMart's. Most animals can have a comfortable place to sleep using old towels, bedding, and other supplies in the pad or at the thrift store. Service Animals If you don't want to bother paying for someone to take care of Fido during your next outing, there is no need to. Service animals are NOT considered pets by federal law and can go almost anywhere no pets are allowed register this with the state and even if you monkey flings poo there is nothing they can doo-doo.... including apartments, hotels, and restaurants. In most cases, the person with the service animal does not have to show documentation for his/her animal nor for a disability. If anybody asks, you have limited visibility and need a service animal to guide, and a dark pair of sunglasses along with a proper harness on the animal is often all that is needed to keep people understanding. Official service animals include dogs, cats, and monkeys. Just make sure your pet is very well behaved and looks like a legit service animal and your pet can go wherever you go. If you know a doctor have her write a letter or note on an official pad or letterhead prescribing a service pet for therapy reasons. Dirt Nap If the time ever comes to euthanize your animal due to incurable (and check with a vet to make sure) illnesses, check with vets and other pet areas for the costs. Many offer very reasonable services. You can often do this yourself in a humane manner, but it's probably worth paying a few extra bucks for a pro to put down old yeller in a safe and foolproof way. Posters Most movie theaters and concert venues will give away posters or cardboard displays for movies they aren't showing anymore. Just show up on the last day it's playing and ask. Or rifle through their dumpster. Original Posters Beautiful wall posters are available by writing to the National Tourist Agencies of various countries. Most are located between 42nd and 59th Streets on Fifth Ave. in New York City. You can find their addresses in the New York Yellow Pages under both National Tourist Agencies and Travel Agencies. There are over fifty of them. Prepare a form letter saying you are a high school geography teacher and would like some posters of the country to decorate your classroom. In a month you will be flooded with them. Airline companies also have colorful wall posters they send out free. Postage If you need to send a package, and it fits the general weight/size specs of a book or CDs or video tapes, etc., you can use the United States Postal Service's Media Mail rate, which is considerably less expensive than standard shipping rates. Just remember that the USPS is getting wise to people abusing Media Mail (such as sending items that aren't books or recordings, or adding personal correspondence with an item), so they're "inspecting" packages that are sent that way. If the package is in violation, it will either be sent back to you, or will be bumped up to another higher rate, usually First Class, and the addressee (whoever is supposed to get the package) will have to pay the outstanding postage before they can receive it. If you don't know what qualifies as "Media Mail", go to the Post Office and ask, or check their website at If you need to send a letter with the package, use a clear Packing List/Invoice Envelope. You can get a box of these at an office supply store. Write your letter, fold it up, and write the address where the package is to be delivered on a small piece of paper (or a blank part of the letter) facing out, and slap it on the package. Remember that nearly all Media Mail packages go by ground, which means that anything sent to Hawaii or any outlying islands (Guam, Puerto Rico, etc.) will go by boat, which can take up to TWO MONTHS to get there! So you might want to consider sending things Parcel Post or First Class if it has to go that far. The USPS offers Flat Rate envelopes and boxes for their Priority Mail service (Anywhere in the world up to 3 days). If you can fit the item(s) in the envelope or box (provided for free at your local Post Office) and seal the flap shut, you can send it via Priority Mail. There are weight limits (4 pounds for envelopes and 20 pounds for boxes), but if you're sending lots of little items to one address, this is a real money saver. Just remember that overseas shipping will be more expensive than US, but still, it's a good buy. Don't confuse this with Express Mail, an overnight service, which is more expensive. Ministry Unquestionably one of the best deals going is becoming a minister in the Universal Life Church. They will send you absolutely free, bona fide ordination papers. These entitle you to all sorts of discounts and tax exemptions (Just make certain you file all the proper paperwork first!). Go to to sign up at their on-line church (or to to go to their on-line monastery), and your ordination papers will come right out of your printer! They also sell lots of other stuff for your ministry, such as ID cards, clip-on badges, and a number of credentials and certificates. If you go to the official website of their International Headquarters,, they will actually mail you your ordination certificate for free! You know it's genuine; they have actual thick paper! Other groups that offer free on-line ordination are the Church of Spiritual Humanism ( ) and Universal Ministries ( ). Other ministry items are available from them. The Discordian Church (a close friend to the Yippies) grants free Sainthood, Pope and Messiah status. Just print out cards found at -- of course, most people don't respect the holy religion of Eris. Many yeshivas and seminaries have been known to give free rides to Israel for both college age and above Jewish men and women. Once there almost all provide free dorm stay and food in exchange for attending a few classes a week. If you are not a Jew ask your respective mosque, church, temple or comet suicide cult if they have a similar program. Vacations Intro CorpGov loves when you take your week or two of approved vacation then return to drudgery while receiving ever more worthless US dollars and worse benefits. Screw them all, we are on vacation for life!! Most of what is mentioned below is scams to get what straight Americans love, a vanilla vacation. Get off the beaten path, hitchhike on an airplane, bike through Asia, hop protests, and live on gifts and bartered craft work!! Maybe you could do some accounting or flip burgers for a vacation. Here are some scams that you can use during your down time from your down time. Getting a free vacation is tough these days. However, if you want to persist and push, you can get freebies out the wazoo just by looking like a middle-class suburbanite who is not happy. Vegas WARNING: Much of what you're heard about Las Vegas isn't valid any more. Nearly all the midpriced hotels on the Strip have been, or will be, torn down and replaced with luxury set-ups. The cheap buffets are a distant memory (the buffets are there, but they're no longer cheap), the drinks are over-priced and the lounges have been replaced with over-hyped nightclubs. However, there are cheaper places to stay Off-Strip, such as on Boulder Highway, or in the neighboring city of Henderson, but you'll need a bus schedule to get around if you don't have a car. Get one from Citizens Area Transit. Or better still, do what many people who live in Las Vegas do... take their vacations in Laughlin! Hotels A word should be put in on hotels: It is still possible to get a hotel for "free" in many cases. Using a canceled (NOT expired) credit card can often work. Be forewarned, the computer system will often lock you out of your room after midnight, so get in and stay until you run out. You can more frequently get a room at middle-class hotels (Holiday Inns, Comfort Inns etc) by finding out a company that has a direct bill service set up with the hotel. Make a reservation (using your name or a phony ID) the day before, then come in looking like you just got off a plane/out from a meeting and that's it! Usually ID is not taken for these direct-bill type reservations, so you're in the clear. You can often get a comped room just by complaining! Many chains (Marriott, Hilton, etc) offer 100% guarantees if you find your room is not up to snuff. Perhaps start off by swiping the nice alarm clock by your bed, stuffing it in your duffel bag, then calmly telling the front desk "There isn't an alarm clock in my room". They'll set up a new one. Then, perhaps drop a few roaches or something that looks nasty in the bathroom, call the front desk and demand your free room...claiming there is (insert nasty thing here) in your bathroom. They can't dicker on the price, they are required by corporate to give you a free room. Keep in mind, however, that many hotel staff members are ripe for conversion into the revolutionary don't give them a hard time unless they are total assholes. Theme Parks The same comp idea can be used at theme parks (Anheuser-Busch, Universal, and Disney are the best to do it at). While you may not get a free ticket, items like snacks, dinners, clothing, and more can be had by complaining or simply telling a staff member some BS excuse (my ice cream fell on the ground...waaaaaah!) If you ever go to Disney/Central Florida, look at the "FREE Tickets to Disney/Universal/Sea World/Armageddon" places. They are a dime a dozen around the tourist traps. Find out what the rules are, but usually its a half-day chat about trying to con you into a shitty timeshare in the boonies. They do pressure you into getting a timeshare (obviously) but just insist you have to talk it over with your S.O. Furthermore, BE SURE you give them phony info so they don't call you constantly. Drinks Most fast food restaurants don't notice (or don't care) if you're refilling their plastic coated cardboard cup or your own. If you respectfully ask for water at a fast-food/food court place, they'll usually give it to you. "Excuse me, sir, could I please have some water?" is generally the key to a refreshing drink. When out and about, always keep a bottle with you to refill with water at water fountains or wash room sinks. It replenishes you better than soda, and it's free. Keep in mind that most plastic bottles are not meant to be reused forever due to degradation of the plastic. Even if you do use the same plastic bottle for just a couple of days, remember to wash it frequently. Also, leaving an empty bottled-water bottle in the sun will release harmful molecules into the contents of the bottle; be careful. It also helps to have several different restaurant's cups in the back seat of your car; just grab which ever is appropriate and fill her up (this also works for free popcorn at movie theaters, although most theaters only allow refills on the largest rip-off bag you can purchase). Also, many banks and car dealership repair shops offer free coffee, nuts, popcorn or other snack foods to their customers. As long as you're dressed respectably you should be able to waltz right in, use the bathroom, get a sip at the water fountain and then hit up the refreshments on your trip out. Diploma Real Diploma If you are running an educational co-op find out the state laws on making yourself into an unaccredited college and start issuing real diplomas to your graduates. Almost all private colleges and universities start out unaccredited. If your co-op is a long term thing you can also have a contact number and address to accept calls from other colleges and employers seeking official sealed transcripts. Make everything look official and you should be accepted like most starting unaccredited schools. You should feel free to use your earned diploma to build your resume and even try to transfer credits. Acceptability by other institutions is directly related to how professional you course description and documentation are. Get help from someone who has worked in the administration office of a college. If you are really into this game find other co-ops and form your own accreditation body this is essentially what happened with the current university system. Most employers check the Internet if they are suspicious so you had better set up a good website for your school. Fake Diploma Do a web search for outfits that sell blatantly fake (but very official looking) "novelty documents" that will look good on your wall, and might bluff out a few people, but don't expect to pad your resume with them. Original Diploma Above the paper towel dispenser in a service station restroom was written: "San Francisco State Diplomas." If you really need a college or a high school diploma, send $2.00 to Glenco, Box 834, Warren, Michigan 48090. They send you one that looks real authentic. It ain't Harvard, but it looks good enough to frame and put on your wall. Toilets A lot of major cities have the public bathrooms where you put in a few quarters and the door unlocks. If you're with a group of people just pay once and either all go in together or one at a time holding the door for each other so it doesn't lock. Another option is to wait around the bathroom until someone uses it and pays, then catch the door as they're walking out and sneak in before it locks itself. If you're feeling charitable, take a clean Band-Aid or some strong tape and put it over the latch so it doesn't lock, letting the next person use it for free! Construction sites often have rented portable toilets on-site, some are even within a short sprint from the sidewalk. If someone notices you leaving the Port-O-Potty (or whatever the brand name is), simply say, "Just checking." and keep walking. On a sanitary note, always keep something to wipe yourself with (such as paper tissues) and something to clean your hands with (like disposable towelettes), just in case the offerings are thin where you happen to be. For an actual toilet, shower stalls, and other recycled goods for your home look for a builders recycling center near you. Also, if you are near a park or something, take a chance and pick a bush already! Original Toilets Sneak Under! Fight • 1. Leadership 2. Tell it all, Brothers and Sisters 3. Starting a Printing Workshop 4. Underground Newspapers 5. High School Papers 6. GI Papers 7. Wall Painting 8. Public Speaking 9. News Services 10.Spanish for the Revolution 11.The Underground Press 12.Switchboards 13.Banners 14.Community Centers 15.Guerrilla Broadcasting 16.Guerrilla Radio 17.Guerilla Television 18.Information Warfare 19.Revolutionizing the Masses 20.Demonstrations 21.Dress 22.Helmets 23.Gas Masks 24.Walkie Talkies 25.Other Equipment 26.Caching 27.Infiltrating 28.LockSmithing 29.Trashing 30.Weapons for Street Fighting 31.Knife Fighting 32.Unarmed Defense 33.General Strategy Rap 34.Underwater Trashing 35.Peoples Chemistry 36.Stink Bomb 37.Smoke Bomb 38.CBW 39.Molotov Cocktail 40.Sterno Bomb 41.Aerosol Bomb 42.Pipe Bombs 43.General Bomb Strategy 44.First Aid for Street Fighters 45.What to do 46.Medical Committees 47.Hip Pocket Law 48.Legal Advice 49.Lawyers Group 50.Join the Army of Your Choice 51.Canada Sweden and Political Asylum 52.Organise a Labor Union 53.Prisoner Support 54.Steal Now Pay Never 55.Shoplifting 56.Techniques 57.On the Job 58.Credit Cards 59.Monkey Warfare 60.Piece Now 61.Handguns 62.Rifles 63.Shotguns 64.Other Weapons 65.Training 66.Gun Laws 67.S.E.R.E. 68.DIY Defense 69.Get the Hell Out of Dodge 70.International Communications 71.Disguise 72.The Underground 73.Identification Papers 74.Communication 75.Asylum Seekers Fight Don't be a wuss revolutionary. Put up yer dukes. There are four levels of resistance; however, just because resistance exists, does not always mean the cause is right or just. Remember, brothers and sisters: One less cop for one less revolutionary is NOT a fair trade. If your tribe is in danger with no beneficial outcomes: get the hell outta there. There's no time to be a hero when you're dead! Legal Demonstration The system is still intact and normal democratic processes can get useful results. Political maneuvering, marches, press interviews, boycotts; all can produce amazing results. Be ready with your copiers and printers, door to door handouts, and silk screened signs to let people know what is up. You will be expected to speak in public places and convince the sheeple to join the fight. Civil Disobedience Civil disobedience is a wake up call to the general population that their rights are being ignored, hopefully leading to a quick return to legal demonstrations. Examples include sit-down protests, road blocking, telephone and Internet abuse. Know how to get away and deal with riot police, plan to escape cuffs and zip-ties, and don't get too violent: you want the moral high ground. Destructive Resistance The ruling faction has so ignored the plight of the people that this is the only to get their attention or destroy their power base. Techniques include arson, explosives, trashing of offices, and counterfeiting of currency and securities. You are now trying to break the machine without hurting too many people, trashing and sabotage are now important. The general population needs to be sympathetic for this to work well. War War is a last resort when the ruling faction has decided to turn to deadly force to enforce their will and when the civil rights of the populace or minority have been completely removed. The ultimate goal is overthrow of the illegal cabal and a return to a legal constitutional republic. An army needs to shoot, move, and communicate for its offensives to be effective. Cover and concealment provide a place to escape bullets and bombs and a way to blend in and not be seen. Your army needs its basic survival needs of air (via the use of gas masks), water, food, rest, and warmth (using clothing and sleeping bags) met every day. If any of these factors are ignored, your army will fail to be effective. If you are a minority and the majority is hunting you, like in World War II, it is probably smartest to do a rear guard guerrilla war and get as many of your own people out before escaping yourself. Some of the saddest stories we have heard were of Jews who were told by corrupt community puppet leaders that everything was fine, they were going to work camps, and anyone who claimed the trains lead to death camps were crazy conspiracy nuts. Leadership What guerrilla handbook would be complete without discussing leadership? We include the Cheap Thrills and Shoplifting as introduction for those who are just far enough outside the system that we can reach them. As you grow and realize the depth of the problem in the world and begin to solve problems you will realize that you have to take part in the repair or replacement of our system. We need to get beyond selfish consumption which has lead us to this dire situation. Our progressive predecessors in the 1960's became the 70's "me" generation intent on having lots of meaningless sex and getting as stoned as possible. We are not thieves , playboys/girls, or stoners, we are leaders. Leaders are not born they are trained, some people come to the understanding of these basics through trial and error but everyone should be able to learn how to lead people. Confidence For people to want to follow you have to believe in yourself. Build your confidence by leading in sports and problem solving exercises. Volunteering gives many opportunities to become comfortable leading. Honesty A leader at any level must be beyond reproach. If every member of the protest movement were to act as if there was a news camera crew following them there would be less of a chance for blackmail by outsiders or disappointment of your subordinates. Punctuality If you are loose with the time of others it indicates that you do not consider their time valuable. Keep appointments and show up on time. Oration see Public Speaking Join In Join in and help with the work, those following you will see your real commitment and be motivated. This doesn't mean that you can't delegate, but it does mean you are not lounging in an air conditioned office while the troops are getting thrashed by pigs. Competence You must have at least a basic grasp on the task you are managing, find trained assistants who you trust to help with specifics. Your ability to read people will help you assess input from trained assistants. Delegate Authority Do not personally manage the tiny details, designate competent leaders and allow them to build a team and take care of the task. Oversee the efforts just enough to be sure that a competent job is being done. Diplomacy Conflict management is a major problem in most organizations, learn how to take the aggrieved parties and create solutions. Know when to separate activists and when you can work out a compromise. Know your Troops Do your best to learn the names and a few personal tidbits about every one of your activists especially in a large organization. If your troops feel that you think they are important and appreciated they will be willing to go 110% when they are needed. Discression When a subordinate is discovered to be in an embarrassing situation from a mistake or personal history do all you can to keep this problem out of the organization and out of the media. Use common sense to decide if the activist's history or actions could be a blackmail threat from the pigs or a black eye to your organization. see Security Culture Take Responsibility Even if a subordinate makes an error, it is your responsibility to let the buck stop with you. When you delegate a job you have the responsibility to choose a competent manager to take care of the problem. Safety Think about the effects of your decisions on those working for you. Always have the safety of your troops at the top of your mind. Communication Have an open door and encourage your delegate's to do the same. If there is a problem or an improvement you must be open to ideas, it is easy for the management circle to become a closed thought loop, outside comments from the troops will inject fresh ideas. Planning A leader should be constantly reviewing past performance as well as imagining what could happen. If you have considered what you would do in a situation you will be that much more ready to act when the time comes and instant action is needed .Tell it all, Brothers and Sisters "Structure is more important than content in the transmission of information." - Abbie Hoffman The most important brick in the foundation of change is information. Sharing information in traditional means is still one of the best ways to get the word out or to recruit other citizens who might otherwise never stumble upon a movement that is largely Internet-based. Information overload on the Internet is a real concern. It's one thing to have access to any kind of information that one desires, it's another thing entirely to be able to sift through the immense pile of articles and discussions and opinions that crop up among the millions of Internet sources. Transitioning this information to print/traditional formats is key to the success of any movement that wants to include everyone, not just the web savvy. Starting a Printing Workshop The wide availability of computer technology, inexpensive layout software, cheap printers and easy access to low cost photocopying have made the generation of printed materials easier than ever. Computers and software Any computer you are likely to get your hands on can be used to design printed materials. Google Office and other web-based applications such as Zoho provide you with the opportunity to create quick, professional-looking documents without any software investment at all. Your material can even be saved online to enable other people, who might have better access to printing machines, to get the files themselves. These web tools also enable easy collaboration. If you're looking for something more robust, Open Office is a good open source application that is available for free for many different computer systems. The Gimp an open free photo editing and manipulation application with many of the options and abilities of the commercial offerings, it is available for most OS's. GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages. Scribus is a free open source publishing program for creating newsletter and book layouts, it is available for M$ Windows, OS-X, Linux, and OS2. Underneath the modern and user friendly interface, Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK color, separations, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation. File sharing software such as guntella and amule can sometimes help you find decent versions of pirated or shared software. The more popular desktop publishing applications like Quark and Illustrator can be relatively easy to find. Often, you'll have to download the application separate from its supporting documents (such as Help) and activation keys, but, unlike traditional pirating, you're not very likely to lose an arm in a sword fight. Computer Printers A printer will need to be used to generate the paper version of your materials. A printer can either be purchased, or you can bring your documents (via disk, thumb drive, etc.) to one of the many businesses that provide the service. Big office stores like Office Max and Staples will produce color or B&W copies for you. Kinkos is still around and is often found near college campuses. There are also hundreds of local copy and fax stores in retail plazas who will print in high volume. Printers for computers come primarily in two types: inkjet and laser. Inkjet printers are generally cheaper and can be more versatile, particularly if you want color printing. Laser printers may provide sharper, more "professional" looking printing, but you should look at samples on different kinds of paper and decide for yourself if a printer gives sufficient quality. Quite decent printers can be found these days in the sub-$500 range, including some for less than $100. In addition to the initial cost of purchasing a printer, paper and ink/toner costs can be substantial, especially at high volumes. Typewriters If you want or need to use a typewriter, remember that most (if not all) electric typewriters use a black film instead of an ink ribbon to type, which leaves a record of everything typed. Also, all typewriters leave a distinctive impression in the type, almost like a fingerprint. Use small strips of typewriter correction film instead of corrrection fluid (like Liquid Paper) when the paper is still on the roller. The fluid can drip into the gears and mess up the typewriter. Use correction fluid to touch things up after you take the paper out of the typewriter. Nearly all manual typewriters don't have a number one or an exclamation point. It seems strange but this was a design choice to save money in manufacturing. To type a "1", use a lower case "L". To type an exclamation point (!), type {Apostrophe} {Backspace} {Period}. To type the "Euro" currency symbol, type {Capital C} {Backspace} {Equals sign}. Photocopiers The decision of whether or not to do your own photocopying can be a complicated one. While cheap photocopiers are now available, photocopiers are notoriously unreliable, so owning one may not be the best option. On the other hand, if you are seriously going into the leaflet generating business, and your volume is going to be sufficiently large, it will ultimately be economical to buy one. Of course, if you've got a friend who works at an office, you can usually run late night copies from the office machine. Copier history can be produced, but unless you jam up the machine and are unable to fix it, or if you leave a mess, you're not likely to get caught. Make sure you're not being videotaped, however. If you work in an office yourself, or you need your friend to do it, just try to make it look like you're doing normal work. This would be a bad time to spray paint the camera lens. It's more risky to use the office printer, which usually has a tighter and more consistent budget in terms of paper use and copies produced. Jellygraph copiers The jellygraph (also known as a "hectograph" or "gelatin duplicator") is a type of mimeograph that is simple to make and can print around 50 prints from one master application to the gel bed. If you are feeling enterprising a drum type print bed could be devised to speed the production of the prints. This makes a low quality copy but is cheaper than a computer and printer or copier and can be made with common materials. These printers have been used by partisans for the last century when regular printing was impossible. You will need: • • • • • • • • • 1 aluminum pan (larger than the size of your paper) quality paper for masters cheap paper for posters Mimeograph carbon papers (Ordinary carbon paper will not work) Impact typewriter, dot matrix or impact printer, or Mimeograph Pen Gelatin, clear unflavored (Check the supermarket Dessert section) Water Sugar Glycerol, AKA Glycerin (Drug stores will have this) Making The Printer • • • • Dissolve 100g gelatin in 375ml water with 385g of sugar. When the sugar and gelatin have dissolved, add 715g glycerin bring to a boil and simmer for one minute. CAUTION! This is HOT! Carefully pour the mixture into your tray (avoiding bubbles) which must be lying perfectly flat on a level surface. As the gel cools you can dab away bubbles and foreign matter with a damp towel or tissue. (You can also use Carrageenan Gel or Agar Agar {seaweed extracts} in place of gelatin, but you will have to experiment with mixtures to get a firm gel.) Making the Master Using an impact typewriter or a dot matrix printer (the ribbon doesn't need to work, impact is all we need) type or print the flyer using your mimeograph carbon paper. Alternitavely you can buy or make a mimeograph pen to write out the flyer or draw pictures to add to a typed page, use good quality paper which can survive contact with dampness, the non-shiny side of butcher paper should also work. Old dot matrix and impact printers may be difficult to support but at least you don't need to find a working ribbon or ink. Buy a printer with current drivers for your operating system. Friction feed is the type of printer you want as long as it doesn't mark up the carbon paper, tractor (holes on the side) feed will be difficult to get to work properly unless you can find mimeograph paper with tractor holes that is not too old to use. Be sure that the print head works before buying. Using the Printer • • • • • Dampen the surface with water and then gently wipe clean so no liquid remains. Lay the master face down and smooth onto the gel bed, the longer the master remains the more ink transfers to the gel, if the surface was too wet or the master moves the print will get blurry, if the surface was too dry the master will stick on Gently peel the master off,if you are careful you can reuse it Press your blank paper to the surface and peel, this is your first copy, repeat 30-50 times To make more copies wipe clean the gel and reapply the master lined up in the exact same place on the gel (the print can be sharpened by wetting the back of the master with alcohol and dabbing clean) Cleaning the Printer • • • • • Fill the pan with warm water and let the ink and a small layer of gel dissolve for just a few seconds wipe with a sponge run cold water into the pan to reset the gel wipe up all liquid test the surface with clean paper (it should come back clean) If you ruin the surface peel up and add the jelly bits into a pan with a little simmering water, re-pour your copy bed. Jellygraph Master Pens You can make the ink for writing a master if the mimeograph paper is unavailable • • • • • 2 tsp dye 2 tsp alcohol 1 tsp sugar 4 tsp glycerin 1/3 oz water Dissolve the dye in the alcohol, Add the glycerin with the dye mix Dissolve the sugar in the water mix both solutions. inject ink into a fountain pen cartridge and write your master copy Mixing the Ink • • • • • Silk Screen Printing A fast and inexpensive way to make large print posters, protest signs, and printed clothing with simple graphics is to use the silk screen method. This printing method is nearly as fast and accurate as the mechanical systems used by online and local swag shops but for much cheaper, plus you don't have to wait weeks for delivery. See Wall Painting for for applying your posters. What you need • • • • • • • Roller Latex or acrylic paint Letter Stickers or cutouts and graphic cutouts Lightweight mesh screen (tent screen mesh) Wood frame Water base ink or paint (other type paints require a rinse every several minutes) Wax paper Fabric paint is available at most clothing shops but is quite expensive. We have heard that latex house paint and fabric softener mixed make a inexpensive fabric paint substitute, be careful not to clog your stencil with drying paint. Kits are also available at most art stores. Making your Screen • • • • • • • • 1-Staple the screen to a lightweight wooden frame 2-Use a straight edge and black marker to draw lines onto the screen so your text will be straight 3-Stick down letters on you marks to make your text, also carefuly lay down cutouts for graphics with tape sticking them down 3.1-If you want several colors in your poster make seperate screens for each color pass 4-Lay down wax paper and gently roll or spray latex paint over your cutouts and letters(make sure the paint is not too thick and that letters are not rolled out of allignment) 5-Wait about ten minutes after painting remove your letters and graphics using tweezers 6-Allow screen to dry overnight 7-remove wax paper in the morning Printing • • • • 1-Place T-Shirt, newsprint, butcher paper, or poster paper under your screen 2-using a roller roll your ink or paint onto the screen, it will only transfer through the open areas where the stickers were removed.(Don't use too much ink onto the roller) 3-allow posters/signs to dry 4-rinse off screen before the ink dries when you are finished with your printing run Cheap water based paints and newsprint will fall apart with the first rain, they also can't be applied using flour paste or powder milk paste without running them, butcher paper, poster paper and water resistant inks will last much longer but will cost more. Be very careful to keep multiple color screens perfectly aligned in a multi color poster. The screen can be mounted onto a piece of plywood frame making alignment and printing much easier and quicker. Large block text and simple graphics are best. Practice makes perfect when making the stencil screens and when rolling ink. Test the ink with the stencil paint to be sure that it will not dissolve the stencil paint. If you need a graphic cutout larger than your printer can produce you can either print in sections and tape together or you can suspend a smaller graphic on glass or screen in front of a light, then trace the shadow. The shadow method can also be used to hand paint a screen, this can be used to make higher quality graphics from slides or overhead projections. Buttons and Badges A good empty gesture of support is to wear a button supporting our cause. Just taking this tiny step gives support to those taking greater risks, and a button can last months or years on a pack or coat. It is possible to cast all of the parts for a button press using what we learned in Means of Production. Commercial presses are usually available at hobby, craft, and art stores, components are usually cheaper when bought in bulk. One way to go DIY is to punch out sheet metal discs and either use a mini silkscreen for paint a printed message taped or glued and clear coated for water resistance. Before you start painting them a safety pin could be spot welded using a small metal tab and a single car battery, a thick metal plate for a bottom electrode and a nail for the second electrode, a few seconds of connection will fuse the tab to the badge. With a printer and bulk piles of button components a support crew can crank out dozens of slogan buttons an hour. This type of swag is good to give away as a reward after a hard day of work in support of the cause or to give to street kids as stuff to sell on corners for food and stuff while they spread our message. Don't be too eager to hand out the swag for free to strangers lest it end up in the trash. Remember to add a URL for your website at the bottom of your buttons. Bumper Stickers This section has been placed into the public domain by our friends at Using contact paper Buy some clear, removable "Con-Tact" paper at a hardware store. It is used to line shelves. Print sticker on paper and cut to size. With typical inkjet printers, yellow and red fade badly in a couple months, while green and blue fade somewhat. Black on white is more durable. Take the clear "Con-Tact" paper and cut it out 1 inch larger than the bumper sticker so that there is 1/2 inch overlap on all sides. Flatten the Con-Tact paper and place it on a table with the paper side down. Peel the front (clear) side of the Con-Tact paper, but leave a thin strip on the bottom attached. Place the paper sticker in the center of the backing and reattach the Con-Tact paper. Apply only to a clean surface. Take care to press down the edges well in order to make a watertight seal. Whenever working with Con-Tact paper, take care not to stretch it. When properly applied, they have lasted for years in dry climates. Wet climates or frequent car washings may shorten their life. To remove the bumper sticker, peel it off. Remove any residue with rubbing alcohol, acetone, "Goof-Off", or any edible vegetable oil. Using bumper-sticker paper and an inkjet printer McGonigal Paper and Graphics has bumper sticker paper. You use an inkjet printer and waterproof it with Jet Coat. I haven't tried it, so if anyone has experience with this, please post your comments. Get them Printed The best bumper stickers are vinyl and printed in a shop. Stick to all text as this gets the most message for the space, print a test sticker on your home printer and see how it looks from fifty feet away before sending out to print. Yes this is a cop out so try to find a good radical or union printer to give your money to. Underground Newspapers It doesn't take a lot of money to create an underground newspaper or journal. To make a chapbooksized journal or newsmag, you only need about 10 sheets of paper each (or less). You can liberate copy paper from wherever you work, and if you only take a few dozen sheets at a time, you can liberate an entire ream (500 sheets) in under a month. Office Depot stores will give you a free ream of recycled paper (!) if you give them a used toner cartridge. You can only get one ream a day from each store, and you have to make a $3.00 purchase to get the paper. Check out their discount racks where damaged (but usable) goods are sold at deep discounts. You can print your publication on most newish copiers using double-sided settings. Then fold it once, and get it stapled. The problem with normal staplers, here, is that they don't stretch across the width of your folded document (5 1/2 inches). So you need a long-reach stapler or a "saddle stapler" which is a stapler designed to bind folded documents (A "saddle sticher" is a very large and very expensive piece of machinery you would normally find in a professional printing shop). Your local copy shop will usually let you use their long-reach stapler for free, or in exchange for one of the copies of your new underground publication. Check out scrapbooking or other stationery stores for help with binding as well. If you're putting together a book or manual, remember that GBC "comb" binders can be reused. Check the dumpsters in office complexes for the old business forecasts and training manuals. Carefully remove the pages, and you have a supply of comb binders! These same dumpsters can also be sources of odd colored paper (perhaps left over from another project) that can make an attractive front cover. Many office supply stores & copy shops have hand-operated GBC binder machines, often called a "Docubind", you can use for free. If you don't know how to use one, ask. if you already have one going or want to get one going check out for articles, artwork, and to submit your own material for other papers to use. If you need to reach a non-English speaking audience translate your text for free using The babelfish translator program will not work to translate slang or figures of speech so only use simple direct language. Even if you have a fluent editor it will make their work easier most of the time. see Spanish for the Revolution and International Communications High School Papers One of the best ways to get the word out to fellow high school students is through the student body itself, starting with your closest friends and branching outwards. If you have started your own underground high school paper, start with giving a handful of copies to a select few of your most trusted friends, and ask them to hand more piles out to the people that they trust. In this way the brown-nosing bastards that would go to the principal about anything against the school's administration can be weeded out. Also, by passing papers out through a chain network of others, it is easier for the source of the papers to remain an anonymous secret, save for the first few people in the initial trust circle. Teachers will undoubtedly discover the underground paper eventually and when they do many will be determined to find the culprits behind it. Once the word has gone out to enough people, the last students on the chain getting the papers are the likeliest to turn others in. But as long as the revolutionary blood in the students remains aflame through the words of the underground paper, very few are likely to want to give in; the students reading your paper will be the ones most aching for rebellion and revolution. Security measures, like dead drops in certain locations or lockers, should be taken in order to keep from the trust being broken. Another, less risky way to distribute, is to use the bathrooms. alot of schools are acquiring cameras, presumably to help combat school violence. bathrooms are in some cases, the ONLY place cameras aren't present. just leave a few copies in every bathroom in the morning and the curious will take them. this method helps keep those involved from being caught, but may not reach as big an audience. see also Security Culture If the original source of the paper is eventually caught, the results could vary. Some would be let off with just a slap on the hand, and others might be severely punished based on the level of insult fired off at the administration. When it comes down to it, nobody really wants to be in high school anyways. So keep the paper serious among the students, but if all fails you in the end, then don't worry - your words were spoken, and the majority heard and listened. Cut your printing costs with tips from Starting a Printing Workshop or hack the school print server and deliver your hot copy for free to all classrooms and computer labs. see Internet Communications, Network Printing Original HIGH SCHOOL PAPERS The usual high school paper is run by puppet lackeys of the administration. It avoids controversy, naughty language, and a host of other things foreign to the 4-H Club members the school is determined to mass produce. The only thing the staff is good at is kissing the principals ass. Let's face it, the aim of a good high school newspaper should be to destroy the high school. Publishing and distributing a heavy paper isn't going to earn you the Junior Chamber of Commerce good citizenship award. You might have to be a little mysterious about who the staff is until you understand the ground rules and who controls the ballpark - the people or the principal. Many schools do not allow papers to be handed out on the school premises. These cases are generally won by the newspapers that take the school to court. You can challenge the rule and make the administration look like the dinosaurs they are by distributing sheets of paper with only your logo and the school rule printed. By gaining outside publicity for the first distribution of the paper, you might put the administration up tight about clamping down on you. It might be difficult to explain in civics class when they get to the freedom of the press stuff. Your paper should have one purpose in mind - to piss off the principal and radicalize the students. If you run into problems, seek out a sympathetic lawyer. You can get a helpful pamphlet from the ACLU, 156 5th Ave., New York, NY 10010, called Academic Freedom in the Secondary Schools" for 25¢. Tell your lawyer about the most recent (July 10, 1970) decision of the United States District Court in Connecticut which ruled that the high school students of Rippowan High School in Stanford can publish independent newspapers without having the contents screened in advance by school officials. The same info for underground papers applies to high school rags, only the price should be much less if not free. To begin with, you might just mimeograph the first few issues before trying photooffset printing. It is very important to get the readers behind you in case you have to go to war with the administration in order to survive. Maintain friendships with above ground reporters, the local underground paper and radical community groups for alliances. Wall Painting In many locales, you must show ID proving you are over 18 to purchase spraypaint. Laws requiring this were passed as an attempt to control both graffiti and the practice of huffing. Most bucket paints and rollers are easy to get by anyone. Traditional spray tagging while considered by some to be an art form is often difficult to read and is mostly ignored by the public at large so it may not the best choice for political messages. Make a stencil so you can leave a clear readable message, cardboard or vinyl runner both work well for a stencil and roll up easily for transportation, but be aware that it is evidence if you get caught. A team of three: painter, stencil holder, and lookout are best. Wear gloves and a long smock or disposable long sleeve apron so you can ditch them and your gear and be clean if you have to run. WheatPasting Wheatpasting is an effective way to stick up posters in a way that is difficult to remove by hand, quick, and inexpensive. Again collect your poster holder, lookout, and glue painter although you could get away doing this as a one person job. Of course vampire hours are best since there will be few pedestrians to witness and call in your activities. Print your poster or flyer like we show in Starting a Printing Workshop, attempting to find the most water resistant print style possible since this will be outdoors, butcher paper is usually the strongest and cheapest media. On a nice dry week with little rain in the forecast move out to do your deed, summer nights are best. Cement and metal walls and poles are best for adhesion, plastic and wood walls don't stick too well. Bridge supports on highways are great, think about combining four or more posters for a big well seen billboard here. You will first need to make you paste: • • • • • • • add one cup white flour (half cup of sugar might help too) to two cups of water (add rock salt if deep in winter to slow freezing) bring to a boil (boiling can be skipped in a pinch but makes weaker glue) reduce to a simmer for half hour (converts the starch to better glue) stir and break up lumps while you simmer let cool and place in your bucket Refrigerate for up to a week or just use the paste right away otherwise it really starts to stink!! (in a pinch you can use potato flake, corn starch, watered wood glue, sour milk, and many other ingredients instead of wheat to make your paste) Now lets paste! • • • • • Liberally paint your paste on to the surface with a soft broom, big sponge, wide paintbrush, roller, or mop Apply your poster Smooth past over either the edges or if possible the whole poster to both secure the edges, seal the ink, and remove bubbles Once stuck down well a few razor slashes will make removal more difficult when dry Move along in a random direction down streets and alleys while posting to prevent leaving a trail for the cops to follow Experience will teach you if making a paste seal over the whole front of the poster will cause excessive ink running. Sealing the whole poster preserves it for much longer so you might adjust your ink to match the paste. Cycle Pasting For cyclists the best paster setup we have seen is a hand made oversized pannier on the back filled with posters and the bucket and brush in a handlebar basket. The paste has a chance of spilling when the lid is off but a plastic shopping bag conceals and protects it from the eyes of the cops and catches the spillage. You will have to learn how to balance the handlebars, grab a poster, paste up the wall, and stick it up without making a huge mess, but once you get it down you will be unstoppable! Hobo Code This is an 19th and early 20th century form of wall painting updated for our modern needs and can be done in any sort of paint or medium of drawing ranging from chalk to charcoal to paint to spray paint to scratches in the dirt or tree bark. It is a system of simple characters and pictures that each mean something pertaining to the immediate surroundings/building(s), like a Caduceus symbol means a doctor or someone of medical knowledge lives within, or an upside down triangle means that people are burned out on bums. These symbols may be used one at a time or in sequence to form a sort of sentence. The best time to leave these symbols is when you move on so others can benefit from your discoveries. Use chalk or charcoal for temporary discoveries so the rain and wind will wash it away, paint or scratch marking is good for long term discoveries. The side of the curb, the bottom corner of a building, or lower side of large rocks or sign posts are good places to leave the marks. There is nothing secret about these marks, just like the cops know better than any stoner where to stash a joint, they will figure out the what and where of these marks again. Use your head when marking something hidden and remember we will still have more time to notice these marks on foot than a piggie in a squad car. Good stuff for your pack if you plan to take up hobo marking: thick kids sidewalk chalk, a large paint marking pen, and a quality black indelible marker. Here is a simple code of many of the Hobo Code symbols. Look for them when you're in a bind and you can get by without too much trouble. These are in little use a the time of the printing of this book but we expect you to help fix this. Many of these signs are new for our generation, a good idea is to print and distribute this graphic and key on the back page of your publications for underground users so the new symbols get disseminated. Realize that this is not the 1930's and people are not as generous, but as times get tougher more "normal" people will be displaced or unemployed and sympathy may improve. Interestingly enough while it was not that widely used even in the 1930's the paranoia of that time gave it a solid place in our historical memory. Using New Hobo Code It is a good idea to print and distribute or paste up this sign list in low rent area bathrooms, homeless shelters, and radical hangouts. You should be able to get four to six copies to a sheet of paper. Here are come clarifications beyond what is on the card (you might include these on the back of your handout) • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 3-A top-hat in place of a cat was sometimes used for kind old man 8-pirate radio reception here (tower with radiating skull and bones) give broadcast frequency 9-fangs (also sometimes shown as stick with four legs) 14-eyes and X both mean safe, waves for water 17-Rich(top hat and pile of gold) 20-Open wireless Internet (give ESSID) 21-Closed wireless (give ESSID and key code if cracked) 22-International Squatters symbol (ask if there is room for you) and squatter solidarity 24-Talk religion then beg (specify Protestant,Catholic,Mormon, etc,substitute star of David if Jewish, crescent if Muslim, etc) 26-Panhandling success in exchange for music, magic show, juggle, acting (hat for panhandle, horn for entertainment) 33-Undercover cop or informer (roof over cop symbol) 36-Overloaded with tramps (locals are getting burned out) dot differentiates this from gay symbol 37-Dishonest person (may not pay you for work) 41-Homeowner is frightened and gives to us so we will leave, be alert for police activity afterward 42-Locals are minorities and/or are cool with the cause (won't call cops, likely to help us in need) Culture Hacking The other way to use spray paint is to hack signs, billboards, advertisements, etc. If done correctly, it's possible to make a sign that looks no different from the original, except that the message has changed. A good example: nearby there is a sign that says, "Abortion Kills Babies." Black lettering on a white background. A culture hacker takes two cans of paint, one white, one black. Paint over the "Abortion" part in white, using as many coats needed to cover up the black. Second, use the black paint to write your own word, like "Chaney" or "Sex," for the finished product of "Sex Kills Babies." This technique can be used anywhere, on any sign, to confuse people and make them think a bit harder than they normally do. Alternatively, one could paint over "Abortion" and the "s" in "kills" in white, to change the sign to "Kill Babies". Be creative. Original Wall Painting One of the best forms of free communication is painting messages on a blank wall. The message must be short and bold. You want to be able to paint it on before the pigs come and yet have it large enough so that people can see it at a distance. Cans of spray paint that you can pick up at any hardware store work best. Pick spots that have lot of traffic. Exclamation points are good for emphasis. If you are writing the same message, make a stencil. You can make a stencil that says WAR and spray it on with white paint under the word "STOP" on stop signs. You can stencil a fivepointed star and using yellow paint, spray it on the dividing line between the red and blue on all post office boxes. This simulates the flag of the National Liberation Front of Vietnam. You can stencil a marijuana leaf and using green paint, spray it over cigarette and whiskey billboards on buses and subways. The women's liberation sign with red paint is good for sexist ads. Sometimes you will wish to exhibit great daring in your choice of locations. When the Vietnamese hero Nguyen Van Troi was executed, the Viet Cong put up a poster the next day on the exact spot inside the highest security prison in the country. Wall postering allows you to get more information before the public than a quickly scribbled slogan. Make sure the surface is smooth or finely porous. Smear the back of the poster with condensed milk, spread on with a brush, sponge, rag or your hands. Condensed milk dries very fast and hard. Also smear some on the front once the poster is up to give protection against the weather and busy fingers that like to pull at corners. Wallpaper pastes also work quickly and efficiently. It's best to work both painting and postering at night with a look-out. This way you can work the best spots without being harassed by the pig patrol, which is usually unappreciative of Great Art. Public Speaking The emphasis of our fight is to let people know that they are being enslaved and how to escape their chains. Speaking in public is how we want to fight our battles, as this is an easy and professional way to appeal to larger audiences. These tips can also be used in conjunction with interviews, if you are ever selected to represent your organization for a mainstream audience. Here are tips to remember: • • • • • • • Regardless how informal the situation, write out and rehearse your speech beforehand. Improvisation is harder than you think. Prepare answers for questions you will likely get and rehearse them until you are comfortable. Nothing is worse than appearing to fumble a soft-ball question. Use grammatically simple sentences. People can't see your semi-colons. Arrive early and check out the room and AV equipment. Meet a few members of the audience if possible and schmooze a little. Understand your topic enough to be able to answer questions. If you don't know, admit it. Say you will think about it, write it down (even if you don't plan on researching it), and thank the questioner. If you promise to get back to the person or group with an answer then make sure you do so. • • • • • • • Do exercises, like running on a flight of stairs right before the presentation, to burn off any adrenaline overdose. Be careful not to get sweaty or winded. Chill out, and tell yourself that you are ready. If you are giving a informational speech, these people want you to speak to them. Make eye contact often, and try to smile Never mention to the audience that you are nervous or are facing other problems. You may think that you can connect to them better this way, but people will respect you and listen more attentively if you sound like you've done this before and are in control Concentrate on the topic. Don't worry that there is an audience Nerves are OK. Adrenaline makes you look excited about the topic at hand and you will be more persuasive if you have passion. Be sure not to let the adrenaline take over, though, but instead use it to your advantage. Take the opportunity to speak in public when offered, as practice makes perfect. If you are speaking you must know what you are talking about, and be ready to answer any and all questions presented. For your audience to remember your speech, you need to be professional, informed, and ready to give as much as you can in order to get the word across. If you are being interviewed be sure to have planned a short list of your important talking points, make your answers to any question fit into your talking points and take back the interview. Your answers must be planned so studio editing or a cut off live interview will not loose the message you want conveyed. Look at the way most newspaper articles are written with vital information on top and each sentence of descending importance so it is possible to cut off the article to fit, use this method to fill your alloted time slot while having the contingency of overruns or cutoffs covered. Persuasive Speaking Persuasive speaking is different from an informative speech. Here, the attitude may be anything from ignorant to hostile, so remember your public speaking points and add these as well: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Have a specific objective to your speech. Don't wander from your topic. Know what your audience needs and what they want to hear. Don't bring up minor differences in opinion that divide you from the audience. Emphasize the causes or experiences you share that tie you or your cause to the audience. Present in this order: introduction of the problem, then solution, followed by the specifics on how to achieve the solution. Tape practice sessions of yourself and listen a few hours later while taking notes. Practice the presentation first with a single audience member, then with three or four, and let them ask hard questions. If possible, arrive early and form a rapport with some of the audience or have a few plants arrive separately. Friends like these may support you if things get exciting, or even afterwards, as they talk to other audience members. Use key words and phrases, and repeat those words or phrases, like "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." If you can find something simple and clever to reiterate your thesis, without making yourself sound proud of your pretty little phrase, you will be able to better tie your arguments together. Take notes on your speech as soon as possible after every time you present it. Ask close friends who may have attended to find out what you can change Dress in a manner considered respectful and intelligent by your audience. Never act desperate, as the audience will respect a speaker with a backbone. Never engage hecklers or acknowledge counter-protesters. Arrange a friend or two to watch all stage entrances, the pie-in-face is a popular counter protest tactic. Group Education Education is the prime goal of any radical project. There is no nobler profession than being a teacher, and you may find yourself needing to reach out and educate. Be it for your social group, a free university class, or community outreach, take every opportunity you can to educate and liberate. Teaching radical urban farming, radical Linux use, or even bicycle repair are all great uses of your time, and will aid your brothers and sisters in times of hostility. Above all, gain the respect of your class. If you are too easy on them, they will use you. If you are too strict, they will want to rebel against you. Respect also comes from knowing your facts, using proper grammar and spelling, and letting them see the practicality of what you are teaching them. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Never talk down or act superior to your students Always prepare your material before class Preparation should include having an outline of your curriculum, so you do not get lost in your lesson Presentation software or flipcharts should be an aid in note taking and keeping you on topic, not something to read to the class Always invite participation from the whole class and encourage questions, find ways to encourage quiet students to participate Be careful of students who frequently lead the class off topic or monopolize class time. As the teacher, you should set a time limit for off topic discussion, or offer to discuss after class. Try to include visual aids, models, short plays, and chalkboard drawings help a student build a conceptual model in their mind Try to know students by name. If this is a problem, name signs or tags can help Make students repeat concepts to show understanding Trade feedback. This way, both you and your students will know where they stand and where you need to adjust your teaching to meet the needs of your students Learn how to properly use a chalk/white board, Audio/Visual equipment, and printed handouts. Used properly, these can be very useful, but used poorly, will bore students or become more waste paper Assignments are not punishments. Find ways to assign students homework that will give them useful practice without inducing stress and fear Avoid distracting locations. If possible, find a room or outside area reserved exclusively for your group Try to keep class location and schedule constant Less than 7-1: Intimate Conversational Teaching A flexible guideline for student-teacher ratios and different teaching styles • Small group learning is important for technical or difficult topics which require strong teacher leadership and feedback. After a lecture, or a classroom-sized meeting, the class may be broken up into this type of group with trained leaders assigned for hands-on application of the subject. • Less than 30-1: Interactive Classroom Teaching When there are not enough teachers available, or only one expert is available, classroom size groups are a good middle ground between intimate discussions and lectures. Care must be taken so that every student has an opportunity to interact; having students present homework for the class is a good way to encourage interaction, as are rewards for interaction and correct answers(if done without patronizing the student). As the group grows larger, you will need to use more of a lecture format. • More than 50-1: Lecture The lecture setting is used when there is an expert available with a large group seeking the information he wants to present. Since participation is difficult with this style, this is largely a one way transfer of information; the speaking tips above come fully into play here. Quality visual aids become very important as well. Remember that many students may be taking notes, so plan your visual aides carefully. A good idea, if it is practical pertaining to your situation, is to give a allotment of time for questions after the lecture concludes. Acoustics are very important at a lecture as well. If you are outdoors, look for a location that may feature a small valley for the audience, and situate yourself on the lip of the depression. Otherwise, look for a small hill to situate yourself upon. Quality PA systems are beneficial for any environment, either indoors or outdoors. Quality miniature, battery powered amplifiers, like the Crate Taxi Amp, offer mobility, lightness, and versatility for voice amplification. If you cannot amplify your voice in this manner, be sure to speak loudly and deliberately. News Services Disinformation Not exactly a news service, but an archive of background information on news that may have fallen through the cracks. • Guerrilla News Network (GNN) Independent news organization with a global issue theme. • Independent Media Center (Indymedia) Diverse sources of locally reported news, mostly by grass-roots activists, describing itself as "a network of collectively run media outlets for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of the truth. We work out of a love and inspiration for people who continue to work for a better world, despite corporate media's distortions and unwillingness to cover the efforts to free humanity." • Quality News Network (QNN) QNN is a USA audio service providing hourly five-minute news briefs (Monday to Friday, 6AM to 6PM Pacific) for radio stations to use for free, both live feed and MP3 format. Also includes a week-daily news, interview & commentary show America - Back On Track. A very professionally produced service. • Wikinews Wikinews is a web-based news service with amateur and professional reporters from all over the world, all presented with an impartial view. Articles in a wide number of themes, formats, regions and languages can be had for free! Scroll down the page to "Wikinews Media" and download the Wikinews Print Edition to reproduce freely. • Spanish for the Revolution The following are phrases you can use when making fliers, posters, announcements, etc. that appeal to Spanish speakers. see also International Communications for more Spanish and French Action ¡Lucha!--Fight! ¡Vota!--Vote! ¡Vamonos!--Let's Go! ¡Despierta!--Wake Up! ¡Vence! - Conquer! ¡Venceremos! - We Will Win! ¡Sí, Podemos! - Yes, We Can! ¡Sí, Se Puede! - Yes, It Is Possible! ¡Ayuda! - Help! Formenta... - Promote... Llamando por... - Calling for... Ven por... - Come for... Lucha, vota, despierta, trabaja... - Fight, vote, wake-up, work... Luchar, votar, trabajar, vivir - To fight, to vote, to work, to live Necesitamos... - We Need... Viva... - Long Live... Y - And A - To/at/into En - In/into De - Of Más - More Muy - Very No - No Sí - Yes Por Favor - Please Gracias - Thanks De Nada - You're Welcome (lit. "Of Nothing") Ahora - Now Podemos... - We Can... La Revolución - (the) Revolution La Victoria - (the) Victory La Batalla - (the) Battle Contra - Against Los Antiobortos - Rights El pueblo - The people Corrompido - Corrupt (adjective) El gobierno está descompuesto. - The government is not working. Por amor - Out of love/for love Por odio - Out of hate/for hate Por medio - Out of fear/for fear No hay que decir (que)... - It goes without saying (that)... Examples of full phrases using the above list No Hay Que Decir que el Gobierno está Decompuesto. Podemos Luchar la Batalla por un Gobierno Nuevo. It goes without saying that the government is not working. We can fight the battle for a new government. ¡Vota por Señor Tamale Caliente por el presidente! Vote for Mr. Hot Tamale for the presidency! ¡Necisitamos trabajar por nuestros antiabortos! ¡Somos gente, tambien! We need to fight for our rights! We are people, too! ¡El pueblo unido jamás será vencido! The people united will never be defeated! ¡El pueblo armado jamás será aplastado! The people armed will never be crushed! Por Favor, ven al Calle California por una protesta contra el gobierno corrompido el lunes, al 2:00 por la tarde. Please, come to California Street for a protest against the corrupt government Monday, at 2:00 pm. ¡No más corrupción! No more corruption! Grammar Notes It is not necessary to include the subject of the verb. Instead of Nosotros somos... (We are...) just say Somos..., instead of Él es... (He is...) just say Es.... The general rule is that using the subject, unless it is a name, is for emphasis only. All nouns are either masculine or feminine. Masculine nouns use "el" to represent "the". Feminine nouns use "la". If a noun preceded by "el" is placed after the word "de," "el and "de" combine to form "del". "A" and "el" combine to form "al". Ex.: (Nosotros) lucharemos en la revolución del norteamericano. "We will fight the North American revolution." Adjectives come after nouns, and must agree with gender and plurality. Adjectives describing amounts (such as specific numbers, "several", "many", etc) come before the noun and must agree in gender and plurality. There is no " 's" in Spanish; "David's head" becomes "La Cabeza de David" ("The head of David"). • Pronunciation notes "B" and "V" are pronounced the same. "LL" is pronounced as the "Y" in "yes." "E" is always pronounced "eh", "A" is always pronounced "ah", "I" is always pronounced "ee", "U" is always pronounced "oo", and "O" is aways pronounced "oh." "Que," and "Gue" are pronounced "kay" and "gay," respectively. "Ñ" is pronounced similar to adding the letter "n" to the beginning of "yes" or the "ny" in "canyon" (That little line is called a "tilde"). "J" is pronounced by pronouncing an English "H" and scraping your throat, like German "CH" or Russian "X". There is no sound similar to the "j" found in "jump." Do not pronounce the letter "H" in Spanish. "Huevo (egg)" is pronounced "webbo," or "ooehbo". Special Characters This is a list of how to type characters with accent marks common in Spanish on a computer. For each character, hold down the "ALT" key while typing the number code next to each character. Á - 0193 É - 0201 Í - 0205 Ó - 0211 Ú - 0218 Ñ - 0209 á - 0225 é - 0233 í - 0237 ó - 0243 ú - 0250 ñ - 0241 ¿ - 0191 ¡ - 0161 Numbers 1-Uno 2-Dos 3-Tres 4-Cuatro 5-Cinco 6-Seis 7-Siete 8-Ocho 9-Nueve 10-Diez 11-Once 12-Doce 13-Trece 14-Catorce 15-Quince 16-Dieciseis 17-Diecisiete 18-Dieciocho 19-Diecinueve 20-Veinte (All numbers between 16 and 99 are made by adding the words for 1-9 to a unit of ten with the word "y (and)," except the twenties and tens, which use the letter "i" and become one word.) 21-Veintiuno 22-Veintidos... 30-Treinta 31- Treinta y uno 32 Treinta y dos... 40-Cuarenta 50-Cincuenta 60-Sesenta 70-Setenta 80-Ochenta 90-Noventa 100-Ciento (if you need to describe 100 of soemthing masculine, "ciento" is shortened to "cien." Ex.: "Cien Dolares (one-hundred dollars)". 1,000-Mil 1,000,000-Millión Months, Seasons and Days of the Week Unlike English, these are not capitalized unless they start a sentence. Months January - enero February - febrero March - marzo April - abril May - mayo June - junio July - julio August - agosto September - septiembre October - octubre November - noviembre December - diciembre Seasons Spring - la primavera Summer - el verano Auntume- el otoño Winter - el invierno Days of the Week Sunday - domingo Monday - lunes Tuesday - martes Wednesday - miércoles Thursday - jueves Friday - viernes Saturday - sábado The Underground Press Libertarian Communist Information Database: Infoshop Anarchist Information Database: Independent Media Center: Switchboards New Switchboards The Internet is the easiest way for us to distribute information at this time, your website should always include a FAQ or frequently asked questions section so people will not need to call in. Running a phone switchboard might be an option for a large operation and lots of activists who are unable to do direct actions. You might look into getting an 800 number so you can do national service, most VOIP services can also get this for you. An asterisk server is an inexpensive open source way to route phone calls if you need to make a call center, even for a short time. see Free Telephones#Your own Phone Company To save money you can run an IRC (Internet relay chat) server or use instant messenger. All of these centralized communication options are great for marches and community events but should Never be used for anything even slightly illegal. Remember that you can expect a cop tracing, listening or watching, and recording every bit of telephone and network traffic at a radical switchboard. Be sure to include Security Culture when training your switchboard staff. Edited Original SWITCHBOARDS A good way to quickly communicate what's coming down in the community is to build a telephone tree. It works on a pyramid system. A small core of people are responsible for placing five calls each. Each person on the line in turn calls five people and so on. If the system is prearranged correctly with adjustments made if some people don't answer the phone, you can have info transmitted to about a thousand people in less than an hour. A slower but more permanent method is to start a Switchboard. Basically, a Switchboard is a central telephone number or numbers that anybody can call night or day to get information. It can be as sophisticated as the community can support. The people that agree to answer the phone should have a complete knowledge of places, services and events happening in the community. Banners Banners and Signs In locations where revelation of the truth will affect public perception bannering is a great way to inform the public. Good examples are signs decrying labor busting, child labor, or unfair trade practices in relation to the products, services, or partners of the business you are protesting. Since this will cost you both money and resources do a little research and decide on an effective message, ineffective or unclear messages might even have a negative effect toward your cause or be considered creative graffiti. Banner Drops Banner hangs are a great way to advertise for your cause and gain media publicity when combined with a sit in or civil disobedience, it gives the media something easy to photograph. On a building you either need to get roof access or window access and a parapet to work from. other good places to banner: • • • String a line across a major street from streetlights or power poles Highway overpass Anywhere you can get access and hang where people will see Weight the bottom of the banner with pouches of sand or plastic water bottles roll up the sign and firmly attach line to the top corners or every meter or so on larger signs. If you expect a quick takedown just use sandbag weights or tie to a railing, if you want some longevity send a trained climber out to drill and place anchored bolts in the stone or concrete and anchor off where they will need to get special contractors to remove the sign. Banner Hoists Use a slingshot or toss a rubber fishing weight over a railing, hanging light or decoration, or even cables across roads meant for city parade banners or holiday lighting. Now just pull the fishing string or dental floss to hoist your banner, wrap the string around the pole and finish up with spinning the weight tight around the top of the pole railing or cable so the banner will be hard to remove. It might be advisable to use a segmented tent pole(pull the shock cord tight so it will not pull apart during the hoist) or wooden dowel to stiffen the top of the banner so it looks nicer. Since there is a danger of electrocution never hoist from a power line, unless you are an Expert on wire identification don't even try to hang even from cable TV or telephone lines. Modified CrimethInc Hoist The modified CrimethInc method is a bit more advanced and requires a bit more invested money but is quick and long lasting. • • • • • • • • • • • 1-Make a banner and staple it to a lightweight board. 2-Cut a five foot section of cable reinforced clothes line 4-Attach hardware store carabineers to both ends of the wood near the cable anchor points (really big eye bolts might work even better if you can find ones big enough to pass your molly bolts easily) it is important that the carabineers don't get twisted and stay perpendicular to the wood so use fiber tape to attach them. 5-Make a loop in the end of the both pieces of clothes line and attach tightly to the wood with cable crimpers. 6-Make a second larger loop on the remaining end of the clothes line and pinch it so the tip is bent. 7-Slide a molly bolt into the cable then fiber tape down the loop(a molly bolt is the kind that has spring back wings that you can force through a hole in a wall) 8-make a stop that forces the molly bolt to near the end of the taped down loop 9-Test pulling the loop and molly bolt through the carabineers, it should pop through easily 10- Cut string a bit more than double the height of the object you plan to hoist over 11- Loop the string though the clothes line loops (you want it to pull freely through the clothesline loops) 12- Attach safe weights (sand filled socks, rubber fishing weights, or plastic bottles) to the ends of the long doubled pieces of string. Deploy During a lull in traffic or when friends are safely blocking the road approach the target. • • • • • 1-Throw or slingshot both of your weighted double strings over the target wire, pipe, or pole 2- Snap the doubled string into the carabineers 3- Hoist, be gentle when it comes time to pull the clothesline loop and molly bolts through the carabineers and snapped tight, it might take some jiggling 4- Cut the string with a scissors and pull through, your banner is safely up 5- Get away It will take a cherry picker truck or fire engine ladder to remove this sign. Hoist and Drop For the best effect you want to do a dramatic banner drop from an already hoisted banner setup. This is a great way to hijack a pep rally especially if you have hacked access to the PA system and have a message to deliver. Combine with activists tossing your leaflets with candy attached so people will want to get their hands on some. Use the modified CrimethInc hoist to get your banner up but leave the bottom of banner rolled on a dowel or with weights like in banner drops. Use a piece of fishing line taped to the wall with clear dull finish tape to activate your release and deploy the banner. You should test your slip knot or release system under conditions similar to your live deploy several times to be sure there will not be premature deployment or a misdeploy. Make sure your sign and message is of sufficient quality and size to justify the effort of building and hoisting. Once you try this the staff will be much more vigilant to look for ready to drop banners before assemblies. Balloon Suspended Signs Inside stadiums stores or political events nothing advertises for your cause like a balloon lofted sign where the organizers can't take it down. Hang your lightweight easy to read banner from a rod or pole and attach the balloons to the ends of the pole. If you get there early before the event you might think about having kite string loosely looped over the ends of the stick so you can guide the sign up so it is straight and centered in the hall and then pull the guide strings loose. With Balloon bannering always test your design before you deploy it, nothing is more embarrassing than a dangling sign to make your team look bad. A good way to infiltrate with a bunch of balloons is if you dress like you are with a flower delivery service (dumpster dive a few big bouquets for one arm) and meet your conspirators who have the banner. Balloon Choices When choosing balloons you need to decide how long you want your sign stuck to the ceiling. Figure out how many balloons are needed to lift your sign and double the amount to give several days of lifting, since balloons leak helium and loose lifting power. • • • • Latex is the most standard and least expensive, you can often rent a helium tank and get a large package or two of latex balloons as a package deal. Latex has pores small enough for the tiny helium atoms to pass through (helium it the smallest substance around since it does not even pair up into a molecule like hydrogen). Mylar balloons are also available commercially and last much longer, several weeks life can be expected. Plastic trash bags look ghetto but if you carefully inspect for holes have a lifetime around a week. Helium it the choice for lofting gas, even though hydrogen is easy to generate chemically with acid and metal or electrolysis is is explosive and the cops might try charge you with planting a flammable or explosive device, just so you know hydrogen is about double the lofting power as helium. Sticky Balloons Placing glues or even syrup or honey on your balloon can make your banner hang stick to the ceiling even after much of the the helium goes out. Audio Signs An easy long long life repeating PA system can be made from the electronic recorder now found in some greeting cards which allow a personalized voice message, even better is one modified with a small amplifier transistor and better speaker if more loudness is needed. Be sure to test the life of the battery you plan to use before employing. Best lifetime is obtained by using the voice of a woman with a high pitched voice(or computer generated higher female voice to prevent voiceprinting by the police), this will also carry best from a small speaker. Lithium AA batteries are the lightest and have the longest lifetime for their weight, they are often found at photography shops. You can epoxy the whole package inside of an aluminum can with the top cut off, a big gob of warm bubble gum makes a good stickum if the ceiling is clean, shoot the package onto the ceiling with a slingshot, it should continue to broadcast for as long as the batteries last. If you find a low enough power recorder circuit which will save the recording in non-volatile memory(doesn't need batteries) you might be able to power the whole thing with a solar cell. The cool thing about this is it will only talk while the lights are on and will last until they spend the money to rent a cherry picker. Banner Construction The easiest way to get a long lifetime outdoor sign is to have it printed at a sign shop preferably by someone cool with the cause. Go with a large easy to read font and use a short clear message, an easy to remember website address is good too so people can get more information. Remember the north side of the building (in the northern hemisphere) gets the least sun and will not cause as much UV degradation of the sign. For guerrilla hangs where you expect the sign to be removed in a few hours it is best to go DIY. Bedsheets and table cloths work as does plastic sheet if it can be painted, Use stencils or a projector and make outlines with marker that you can fill in with house paint. Again make it easy to read and understand, include a web address. Include slits or upside down tombstone shaped flaps that will allow the sign to unroll and not flap too much in the wind. Almost all banners are better with a stiffener in both the top and bottom. If wood is too heavy or impossible to infiltrate use a cheap tent wand with the shock cord pulled tight and tied when you assemble it. Weight at the bottom prevents breezes from flipping or tearing your sign down, better yet is four point or more anchoring. Indoor signs might gain from the addition of a LED flasher or two to help gain attention, many of these flashers will last weeks or months. Community Centers Mission Having a focal point for radical activity in your area is a very useful tool for the movements we represent. Most often the better funded groups are able to afford a long term office and center. Good focuses that will make fund raising easier include environmental organizations, services to homeless youth, religious services, and alternative education. Finding Space Zoning Look into what is allowed both by zoning law and by your rental contract. There are occupancy limits in most buildings, most commercial zoning prohibits dwelling in the office. Find out what your rights are as far as having demonstrations with many people inside and outside, placing signs and tables on the sidewalk, and parking for automobiles and bicycles. Location You will need to find a space near your identified focus population in order to be effective. Look for something easy to find, near major streets, public transportation, and easily bicycle accessible. It is also important to consider crime and police presence in the area. Services Education In order to attract a larger following provide community education and free university classes. It is important to have regular times and interesting topics to draw groups that will utilize the space. Education is one of the best ways to justify donations for your rental and upkeep. Radical Printing Having both a copier and laser printing available for zines and posters is a useful service especial if you can offer them for less than the big printing shops, look for donations of toner and paper to subsidize the production of youth literature. See also Starting a Printing Workshop, Underground Newspapers, High School Papers Wall Painting, Spanish for the Revolution, and The Underground Press for more tips. Hang Out A good community center is a place where people feel comfortable to come and hang out to meet other progressive types and coordinate the more overt parts of our struggle for freedom. Try to have food available to visitors, many businesses are willing to donate day old foods to a worthy cause, letterhead and business cards make you just that more legit, some might even deliver. Internet You can surely set up a public wireless Internet node, additionally a few old machines plugged into the network will let street kids without laptops get online, publish, and blog. Media Center Try to get a computer projector, overhead projector, and possibly a large television screen and playback device for multimedia presentations. Recording equipment, lights, a modular TV set, and several backgrounds make for professional panel discussions, radio shows, and documentaries. Most of the media studio stuff is quite expensive and easily damaged, for security insure and take home the gear at night. If your movement is looking to produce a guerrilla radio program a nice studio with good acoustics will really help in production and sound quality. Don't try to transmit from the community center in an illegal way, it will be a very easy investigation and you might loose all of you studio equipment. Produce a legal web radio show and let others grab your stream and broadcast it. See also Making Music and Guerrilla Broadcasting. Anti-Counterinsurgency Identifying Plants If you are properly teaching security culture there should be no problem if the police are sending plants into your community center. As part of enforcing security culture it is important to speak to anyone openly advocating violence that that is not allowed in the center, open discussion of lawbreaking is permissible discussion if it is in a detached academic sense and not planning actions. Be watchful of those that constantly are attempting to violate security culture, also be cautious of those who seem to hang out waiting to talk to new arrivals but not to regulars. Bugging Always assume that your phones, Internet, and building are all bugged or tapped. Modern spy gadgets are cheap and easy for the police to get. If you need to have a secure discussion take a walk along a busy street. Security Culture Make security culture a major focus of the culture in your community center. Making and posting motivational posters similar to the posters from World War Two will be a constant reminder. The legality and ability to stay open depends on following security culture rules if any of your regulars are involved in direct action. See Security Culture for more tips. Sabotage Many of those that we wish to serve are of a subculture that views stealing from "Da-Man" as being a revolutionary act. Since the stealing instinct sometimes becomes ingrained you need to take special care that valuables are not accessible to visitors, unfortunately this often means we can not carry a stock of merchandise since much of it will go out stuffed in pockets and backpacks. DO NOT STEAL FROM YOUR RADICAL COMMUNITY CENTERS AND BOOK STORES! Bars on windows, backed up files and computers, and a good sprinkler system as well as paid up insurance are important should the police or industry decide to eliminate your radical meeting space. Guerrilla Broadcasting Guerrilla Radio Money or time properly invested in building or buying quality transmitting hardware and antenna is not wasted, there is less chance of complaints against a station that stays on frequency and does not bleed over. Most propaganda against low power radio brings examples of small stations using low quality transmitters which interfere with other nearby stations. Once you get some listeners you will want dump the junk to upgrade a quality stable VFO that will not drift frequencies or have distorted sound. With our instructions you should be able to make a really good pirate station in under a week for between $50 and $100 for everything except the hospital bill from falling off of your tower. Transmitter Kits Don't be afraid of making the simple radios and amps now available, all the electronic parts you need are either in your kit, at radio slack or online at places like digitize. An electronics course or a radio frequency physics college course will help immensely, but with the easy kits out now all you really need is a soldering iron and the ability to read. Radio Free Berkeley has somewhat expensive but well designed and tested quality gear that if you make an initial investment will serve well for years producing quality sound. RFB also has radio camps aimed at teaching the techniques of building your own transmitter with help building your kit along side experts. Beyond RFB there is also lots of information at the ARRL website and posted by many armature radio operators on their personal websites. There are many sources on the net to order good quality transmitter kits that require some basic soldering ability and some basic test gear. Consider building a few spare low power kits for situations where the cops will be expected to confiscate the gear. Learning to build kits will likely be much cheaper than ordering from an international mail supplier and also since you will learn how to repair and tweak performance it will likely outperform something ready made purchased from a questionable gray market source. If you really feel like stepping out after trying your hand with kits, design your own or follow a schematic even more fun is to try to keep with recycled components from junked electronics. Homebrew Transmitters Making your own starter transmitting gear has gotten much easier since the advent of mp3 FM transmitters to designed to send your tunes to car or home audio systems. If you find an MP3 player FM transmitter that uses a crystal and you know the exact open frequency you want go with this type, order and install a quality stable crystal. Most of these tiny FM transmitters can have their 3v power input doubled and a proper antenna installed to feed a linear amplifier like below. Run a wire from your computer's sound card to the input lines, and hit it! A decent small city pirate radio station is easily within the budget of almost anyone in the world now. Equipment Power Supply A noise free power supply for your transmitter and amp are very important. It is possible to build this yourself but you will have to check it with an oscilloscope to verify a really clean output. Tools Keep a both a quality butane (ever fix electronics in the field) and electric soldering iron, side cutters, desoldering tool, and multimeter in your kit to make repairs. It might be good to search the Internet for a cheap frequency counter kit (even a quality radio receiver with a digital frequency display will work but costs more) and pack this too so you can keep watch on frequency drift. Playback Equipment Be sure to use quality playback equipment, the best transmitter and amp won't fix crappy sound from a junk sound card or CD changer. Properly ground your mixer board, computer, and anything else electrical that is connected to your radio station Use quality shielded cables especially since you are near an active radio transmitter try to keep the cable runs as short as possible. Buy a low RF noise power supply for any computer you are using for playback. Amp it Up! If your are a soldering iron amateur you can build a small linear amp based on the schematic above. There are many ways to either home print a circuit board, cut circuit pathways in scrap copper clad board, perforated hobbyist board, or use a reusable test "bread board". Follow the schematics above. Once you get advanced enough to figure out band pass filtering and how to keep the impedance right why not rip apart a high power car stereo amp and use the big transistors and heat sinks to build a really juiced up pirate station. Tuning If you visit the radio shack of most every ham operator you will see a tuner somewhere in line between the radio and antenna. Tuning is required to match imbalances in impedance between the radio, feed line, and antenna. What most radio operators with transmitter power only limited to their amplifier budget don't worry about is the radio energy that is converted into waste heat when an unmatched antenna is used. You will need to get a SWR(standing wave ratio-or reflected lost energy that surges back into your finals) meter that is designed to work on your transmitter frequency band. A bad mismatch in impedance and resulting SWR can fry your radio finals. When you need to set up your station quickly and have no time to make a perfect antenna • • • • • 1-just find a nice high spot with a good view of your audience area 2-shoot a wire antenna into a tree with a slingshot and fishing weight on the end 3-Repeat #2 in the opposite direction making a nice Vee 4-tune until you get a SWR reading around 1.5 5-get back on the air. OK so you waste some precious power but you can be on air in around three minutes which is great if you are operating in some park from a bicycle trailer during a protest. Gotta run? Cut your antenna wires and pedal hard!! Antenna The antenna can be both the least expensive and also one of the most effective ways to maximize the potential of your transmitter. Unless you have an unlimited budget there is no reason to buy an antenna, just make one. For a good wire antenna divide 234 by the frequency in megahertz with the sum being length of antenna in feet, this gives you your half wave length. Don't forget to use a good ground(unless you use some variation of dipole antenna), a copper cold water pipe works well. Hide antenna wires inside plastic gutter pipes or other creative long places (metallic paint can adversely affect antenna operation), the FCC radio pigs will be looking for unusual wires or towers in the area that a pirate station transmits. One wire cut to the calculated length is called a monopole the other end is fed to a ground. A dipole is two wires of the same calculated length strung out in opposing directions from a center feed line. (both of these have 50 Ohm impedance) and matches most transmitters and 50 ohm feed line. A bent dipole or monopole is just a di/mono pole antenna where the antenna wire doubles back on itself at half its length, this antenna matches 300 ohm feed line but is a mismatch to most transmitters (it will require the use of a balun to fix this mismatch) You can use twin lead to make the folded dipole. If you need to have a shorter antenna you can cut multiples of half from the size of the antenna but each halving will reduce performance while still keeping antenna SWR tune. You can use the metal frame of you vehicle as a ground plane for monopole antennas. While most commercial and amateur operators just tweak and tune the impedance to a match with a tuner not caring about wasted watts, careful use of an antenna analyzer (which can be built from an inexpensive kit) and careful trimming of the antenna gives the best results by far Antenna Feed Line Coax It is reasonably easy to find 50 Ohm coaxial (coax) cable with a center conductor and braided copper inner sheath at electronics supply stores. Be sure to read the Ohm rating printed on the side of your cable since coax for TV and old computer networking is 75 ohm, a mismatch!! Coax is wasteful in that it converts radio signal to heat more quickly than most other feed lines due to the sheath/core design but the up side to the sheath/core construction is there is very little signal leakage and it is possible to be pretty indifferent about running your coax past other radio frequency interference, wires, and metallic objects. Use some sort of sealer putty or caulk to keep water out of your coax ends as moisture can cause problems at higher frequencies. Keep coax runs as short as possible. Most transmitters you will be using have an output impedance of 50 Ohms the same impedance as a normal dipole and monopole antenna which makes your life easy if this is all you have in your system. Twin Lead Twin lead feed line is still easily available as it is used to feed the TV antennas on the roofs of millions of Amerikans. It can be recognized usually as the brown plastic ribbon insulated wires on the edges, some are perforated in the center, some are flat oval shaped. Twin lead line almost always has a 300 ohm impedance and will need the use of a balun to match 50 ohm antennas and transmitters. Twin lead is low loss and will waste little radio energy even with a longer cable run, the tradeoff is that it leaks energy like crazy if there is any kind of parallel wire or metal object like pipe, appliances, or even rebar in the cement. You need to use non-conductive offsets (wood, plastic, glass, rubber) to keep it at least a foot away from metallic items, walls, or wires. Balun Here is an easy transformer type balun (BALance-UNbalance) designed to give you a five to one conversion which will let you get close to the 50 to 300 ratio with enough play to allow minimal use of your tuner. If you really plan to stick to one frequency you can go for a closer balun match for your feed line. For our five to one balun wrap 25 turns of one color (red) magnet wire (take this out of an old electric motor) around a ferrite torid (donut magnets work good if you cant afford to buy radio torroids) and five turns of the other color (green or more red colored with a sharpie pen). A full turn is considered when the magnet wire crosses its starting position. The five turn side is connected to your 50 ohm antenna or transmitter and the 25 turn side connects to your 300 ohm twin lead feed line. Putting it All Together • • • • • • 0- Audio signal comes from your computer, live microphone, hard disc MP3 player, or CD changer and feeds to 1- Your transmitter (can be as simple as the MP3 hack to a deluxe kit) likely 50 ohm output 2- Use your 50 ohm coax to connect it to your amplifier (if you are using one)(this is likely 50 ohm too) with as short a cable run as possible 3- Next comes your tuner (if you will be using one) again keep the cable runs short. 4- After this is the feed line, which could be just a short run of 50 ohm coax to your antenna if you have everything in a mobile van or on a rooftop. 5- If you are going with 50 ohm everything else just make a grounded monopole (use a good ground) or dipole antenna 4a- If you will be using twin lead for a longer feed line you need to use coax to the outside to prevent leakage to the metal objects in your house 4b- then place a four or five to one balun between the coax and the twin lead to the antenna location 4c- either add another balun to go from 300 to 50 ohm, 5a- and use a dipole or grounded monopole 5b- or use a folded dipole or grounded folded monopole which is already 300 ohms and takes up less space, since it is folded in half and has nearly the performance of a dipole. Alternately if you need to run a long line to an apartment roof from a lower floor • • Choose your antenna type, realize that there is some loss every time you use a balun • • • Don't forget to test the SWR with your meter at low power setting between every stage of your radio station, bad SWR mismatch can burn out your transmitter and amplifier!!! Ground the case of every electrical component from your mixer board, to your transmitter, to your antenna mast for safety and to prevent noise Radio Station Rebroadcast Override Quick communication can often be sent through small FM rebroadcasters licensed by the Federal Candy Commission. In many cases, these licensed stations simply use a high-grade radio and antenna to rebroadcast a weak signal. Their range is generally about 1-10 miles, meaning a good portion of a city or an entire small town can be covered. The first thing to do is check and see if the station rebroadcasts using an FM receiver. If so, all you do is find the broadcast location, transmit a powerful enough signal to override the station intended to be rebroadcast, and that's it! Shortwave Broadcast Even better than listening to shortwave is having your own regular show, even considering the low price to potential audience ratio of commercial shortwave stations an even cheaper alternative is possible. Most proper HAM radio sets are able to be modified for out of band transmission. Look for a radio set that is recommended for digital mode as this has a long duty cycle, in other words, you can transmit for a long time without overheating the set. A linear amp set and a well tuned antenna and you are ready to get the word out across the globe, at least to those that have a quality receiver. Otherwise use the information we give above and build a dedicated shortwave broadcast set from a kit. "Legal" Unlicensed Broadcasting One unlicensed station, Pirate Cat Radio in San Francisco, CA, has kept the Federal Communications Commission at bay with a unique strategy. When the FCC sends them a letter threatening legal action for broadcasting without a license, they send back a passage from the United States Code of Federal Regulations; Title 47, Section 73.3542, Paragraph (a): • "Authority is granted, on a temporary basis, in extraordinary circumstances requiring emergency operation to serve the public interest. Such situations include: emergencies involving danger to life and property; a national emergency proclaimed by the President or the Congress of the USA; and any continuance of any war in which the United States is engaged and where such action is necessary for the national defense or security or otherwise in furtherance of the war effort." Another station, Power Hits 103.3 in Bettendorf, Iowa, used the same strategy, except it was shut down by the landlord over a rent disagreement. A low-power television station, W10BM in Moorehead, Kentucky, is using the same claim while it argues with the FCC over its apparently canceled license. So far, the FCC has not challenged the assertion that Dubya's War On Terror makes it legal to broadcast without a license. If you're going to start a permanent radio station and want to keep in the good side of the law in the USA, consider "Part 15" broadcasting on AM. Under the FCC regulations, an unlicensed AM transmitter can put out as much as 100 milliwatts (that's 1/10th of a watt), as long as you're not interfering with a licensed broadcaster. If you've got the money (about $1,000), seriously consider a Hamilton Rangemaster AM1000. Since these are covered under Part 15.219, which is not a radiation limitation but is a power and antenna length limitation, these can kick out a signal for about 2 miles at best (You'll need help from a radio broadcast tech to tweak the antenna). You can also increase your range by running more than one transmitter. The Rangemaster AM1000 is FCC approved, so if you do get "the knock on the door", smile and show them your receipt and watch as the smirks fade from their faces. For lots of on-line info on legal unlicensed broadcasting, go to Part15.US. Guerrilla Television Guerrilla Television "A modern revolutionary group heads for the television station." - Abbie Hoffman (from "Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture") While most people who have reached the revolutionary mindset have killed their TV's the majority of the impressionable majority consider it a vital service like water or heat, a television transmission is practicaly a direct cable into the viewers mind. Think about your audience, consider what they want to hear and bend that in the direction of your message. Talk to members of your demographic and see how different messages play out with them, exploit existing predjudices against big business, coruption, and government but do not stoop to exploiting predjudices that are against our cause. This is the approach that most low brow media outlets take and it can also be used by our media. It is very important that no matter how hard you spin a story NEVER LIE, people can forgive you for reporting with from your radical point of view but outright dishonesty is a broad weapon to attack the alternative media. Most importantly make your media aimed at the sheeple interesting, sarcastic, entertaining, and maybe even a little sexy so the viewers will not just switch to another channel. Microwave Override Many large television and radio stations can be hacked by sending a high enough microwave transmission (using that station's microwave frequency) directed towards the station's broadcast antenna. While most microwave broadcasting equipment is expensive (at least $1,000 used) and many stations have switched to hack-resistant encoded signals, the potential to broadcast messages to thousands of people makes the cost worthwhile. VCR Every VCR is a (very) low-power VHF transmitter. Signal output tuned to the local unused channel (3 or 4) fed into a linear amplifier and then into a properly constructed antenna equals Free LowPower TV! However, when Digital TV becomes standard in 2009, you'll have to come up with a digital transmitter! Experience Behind the Iron Curtain Before the downfall of the Soviet Union, there were a number of pirate TV operations scattered around Eastern Europe. Many were guerrilla style hit-and-run operations that would rig up a lowtech transmitter with a junked VCR, set to go on the air during the official government newscast, overriding the signal for several blocks. When the authorities found the transmitter, often on the roof of an apartment house or in an vacant building, they would find home-built equipment that had been abandoned, rigged to a timer switch. Much of the programming was very short (since the authorities would be searching for the source within minutes) and usually consisted of recordings from foreign broadcasters like Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, with still photos for visuals. One brave pirate in Moscow would show a tape of the official government news broadcast, with someone else's voice dubbed onto the soundtrack, reading uncensored news peppered with dirty jokes. In 1985, some very brave astronomers from Poland's University of Torun used home-made equipment to superimpose pro-Solidarity slogans over the images of the state-run TV network. You can imagine how the viewing public (as well as the authorities) must have felt when, during the official government news broadcast, the words "SOLIDARITY TORUN: ENOUGH OF PRICE HIKES, LIES AND REPRESSION" flashed on the screen. In 1977, back when the UK used analogue television, someone identified as "Vrillion" of the "Ashtar Galactic Command" over-rode the audio channel of England's Southern Television for 6 minutes. Free-To-Air Satellite TV In many rural parts of the USA, a big thing is "Free-To-Air" (FTA) TV dishes. These are common in the UK and parts of Europe, but are only starting to pick up in the USA. You'll need an unobstructed view of the Southern sky, room for a dish (with a directional motor so you can watch more than one satellite) and a receiver box. A decent set-up will set you back about $200-300 plus installation, but there's no monthly fees. You won't get Dish Network or DishTV (and if you do without subscribing, they'll want to sue you for Theft of Services), but there's lots of TV and radio channels to be had, as well as network TV station feeds. Depending on where you are, you can also watch foreign broadcasts. The forum at DSSRookie is a good place to start, as well as the FTA forum at (No hacking questions permitted!). You can also check out the website for White Springs TV, an FTA service. WARNING: There have been reports of crooked dealers selling counterfeit versions of the popular Pansat brand receiver boxes. Make sure you by from a recommended dealer. A "peoples network" consisting of a Free-To-Air satellite channel feeding low-power stations and FTA dishes may be pricy, but can be done. There are a number of religious and ethnic services, as well as a few "family entertainment" services, already on satellite. To contradict Gil Scott-Heron; The revolution might very well be televised, but it probably won't be on cable. Information Warfare Communications rely heavily on electronic methods. There are numerous techniques and tool for preventing unauthorized intercepting of electronic communications. There are also ways to electronically prevent others from communicating, whether by telephone, cell phone, or the Internet. This article will discuss some of these methods. Jamming Jamming is the use of electronic methods to interfere with or prevent the electronic communications of others. This can be useful in a variety of situations, including confrontations with police. However, legal risks can be quite severe. General Radio Jamming The idea of jamming is to create a signal that overpowers the target transmission. Somewhat similar to trying to talk at a death metal concert. To jam, a high powered transmitter is used on the appropriate frequency, it usually just sends out noise. Expect CB, FRS, or other frequencies to be jammed if you frequently use them for tactical communications. Cell phone jamming A cell phone jammer can be used to prevent cell phones from receiving or transmitting calls. These devices transmit radio frequency signals, and are illegal in the UK and US, among other places. In the US, it is illegal to operate, manufacture, import, or offer them for sale. There is widespread evidence of their use by police, so in actions don't plan on being able to communicate with cell phones. Revolutionizing the Masses As we fight the system we often feel a ghetto mentality where we try to stay with only our radical kind and avoid the public. Preaching to the choir is easy but getting out and changing society is hard. Talking to the Mainstream Look what an important member of society wears, it is almost always a suit, tie, and a clean appearance and haircut. It may feel like selling out (and it really is for you personally) but the average Amerikan has no respect for a pierced and dreaded freak in a patched black sweatshirt or jacket. You want to appear to be highly intelligent and have all the answers but not appear too snobby, the public likes modest but demands a winner. See also Public Speaking. Avoiding Unnecessary Controversial and Offensive Comments One of the keys to maintaining a good standing with the public is to keep your less important controversial opinions to yourself. If you are backing a particular cause it is of no use to go off topic and possibly loose moderates. It may even be useful to publicly disagree with a setup "radical" in order to prove your moderate status. Move slowly when dealing with the public, another spokesperson can advocate more radical positions in a few years, or maybe even you. Assessing Community Needs Look for what the general public is complaining about and try to find a way to explain your goals through that lens. For example people concerned about the closing of a local factory are prime targets for anti-globalisation efforts and provide the white middle class families that will hit Amerikans in the heart. Helping locals Organise a Labor Union will get you good exposure to ordinary Americans who are in trouble and have an open mind to alternatives to our current corrupted system. Radicalizing Oppressed Communities Oppressed minorities and subcultures are often more easily radicalized than the mainstream worker class. Having a much clearer picture of the inherent injustice of our modern CorpGov system, they also provide us with an undeniable reality that middle and upper class college age radicals lack. Assessing Incipient Revolutionary Groups Look for groups that are being adversely affected by the same or similar circumstances that you group is opposing. It is important to investigate for possible conflicts of interest before perusing a relationship. Contact All social groups have those that stand out as leaders, it is important to know in nearly all cases these leaders do not speak for the whole population, but is important to seek as much support as possible. Places of worship, prominent families, and union leadership are good places to start. Working Together It is important that you provide support to your partner organization or group if you expect to get help when you need it. It is worth keeping track of the support you receive when deciding how much you should be sharing in financial and time resources, make sure you are both sharing resources fairly. Publicising social and activist ties strengthens both of your organizations Avoiding Conflict There will almost always be points of conflict or at least disagreement between your groups. It is important to make an agreement possibly even in writing to avoid divisive questions and topics especialy at press confrences and public addresses. Instead of emphasizing the points of disagreement stress where you are in harmony. Cost to Benefit Ratio It is important to consider the costs of openly partnering with a very controversial, violent, unpopular, or even an aimless group, even if they do have similar aims and grievances. Bad coalitions may actually hurt your message with the general WASP public. You can't please everyone, nor do we want to, it is our job to change them, but remember to look toward your future when forming a coalition. Demonstrations Flash Mob With proper warning the police have ample time to assemble thug teams and manage demonstrations reducing the effectiveness. With modern technology a flash mob can be quickly formed using SMS texting, email, instant messaging, or even a cleverly disguised signal by an insider on broadcast radio or television monitored by protesters. Those flash protesters need to have their demonstration gear ready to respond like an ambulance crew to the scene of the event. Organizers may do well to have hidden caches, bike trailers, or even vans ready to roll and full with plastic buckets for drums, screen printed signs, and radios or megaphones. Flash protesters can carry drumsticks, soft banners, and small radios with loud volume. Signs Your sign is also a shield from the cops if made correctly, choose a good piece of wood for the post and consider backing your posterboard with corrugated plastic like is used on election signs. Have an intelligent but simple message on your sign, a confusing sign is worse than no sign. If you are an organizer use the plans in Starting a Printing Workshop to make a silkscreen and mass produce signs so you can easily convey a unified message in the print and TV media. Keep a sense of humor when writing your protest signs. At an anti-war rally one of our contributors attended, one person held a sign reading "BETTER BENEFITS FOR OUR POLICE". Radio A small power-hacked FM transmitter is a way to communicate during a protest, revolutionary slogans or instructions can be sent from a transmitter hidden in a protest sign, bicycle, or other hiding place. Protesters can either blast your stuff with cheap boom-boxes or take orders with throw away transistor radios and headphones. 3. Original Demonstrations Demonstrations always will be an important form of protest. The structure can vary from a rally or teach-in to a massive civil disobedience such as the confronting of the warmakers at the Pentagon or a smoke-in. A demonstration is different from other forms of warfare because it invites people other than those planning the action via publicity to participate. It also is basically non-violent in nature. A complete understanding of the use of media is necessary to create the publicity needed to get the word out. Numbers of people are only one of the many factors in an effective demonstration. The timing, choice of target and tactics to be employed are equally important. There have been demonstrations of 400,000 that are hardly remembered and demonstrations of a few dozen that were remarkably effective. Often the critical element involved is the theater. Those who say a demonstration should be concerned with education rather than theater don't understand either and will never organize a successful demonstration, or for that matter, a successful revolution. Publicity includes everything from buttons and leaflets to press conferences. You should be in touch with the best artists you can locate to design the visual props. Posters can be silk screened very cheaply and people can be taught to do it in a very short time. Buttons have to be purchased. The cheapest are those printed directly on the metal. The paint rubs off after a while, but they are ideal for mass demonstrations. You can print 10,000 for about $250.00. Leaflets, like posters, should be well designed. One way of getting publicity is to negotiate with the city for permits. Again, this raises political questions, but there is not doubt one reason for engaging in permit discussions is for added publicity. The date, time and place of the demonstration all have to be chosen with skill. Know the projected weather reports. Pick a time and day of the week that are convenient to most people. Make sure the place itself adds some meaning to the message. Don't have a demonstration just because that's the way it's always been done. It is only one type of weapon and should be used as such. On the other hand, don't dismiss demonstrations because they have always turned out boring. You and your group can plan a demonstration within the demonstration more accurately. Also don't tend to dismiss demonstrations outright because the repression is too great. During World War II the Danes held street demonstrations against the Nazis who occupied their country. Even today there are public demonstrations against the Vietnam War in downtown Saigon. Repression is there, but overestimating it is more a tactical blunder than the reverse. None the less, it's wise to go to all demonstrations prepared for a vamping by the pigs. Dress Put the new stuff here, you fashionable revolutionaries! Police have access to new advanced technology - fortunately we have access to countermeasures. • Sonic Stunner The sonic stunner comes in two forms: the high-pitch 'mosquito', which only children and teenagers can hear, and a lower-pitch form which affects everyone. To counter this, carry a decent set of earplugs. Earplugs are inexpensive and can be bought from drugstores and hardware shops. • Microwave Gun This controversial modern weapon heats just at the surface of the skin and causes intense pain. Its effects can be blocked by metallic-woven fibers. If a material pops and burns in a microwave, it should give some protection from this weapon. Lining a garment or cape with such a material or carrying a mylar space blanket should offer protection against microwave guns. • Leather Gloves Be aware that modern CS gas canisters burn at several hundred degrees, far hotter than is safe for normal cotton or light work gloves. When handling a hot canister, you will need the full grain leather gloves or you risk burns. • Latex gloves Often viewed as an easy way to avoid leaving fingerprints on stuff, but be aware: the latex glove itself leaves a unique pattern which can be traced to a specific glove... and you leave your fingerprints inside the glove. Be sure to thoroughly dispose of any latex glove used when fingerprinting issues may come up. • Armoring Back before the Quebec City summit in 2001, "armoring" was used as a response to police violence. This varied from taping rigid plastic or cardboard over kidneys to elaborate suits of plastic-barrel armor taken from SCA plans. For the most part, armoring is now unpopular. The Quebec City protests proved that mobility was more important than armor, and heavy armor is now rare. Most activists should content themselves with a jock-strap and maybe a chest-protector (both available from sporting goods stores). Knee-pads are useful, though especially if you're going to do a lot of kneeling at a protest -- for example, being a street medic. Helmets A good quality working helmet is the standard BMX helmet.(Pictured Here) The BMX helmet is good because it is extremely lightweight, designed to stand up to repeated blows, comfortable, allows you to wear a gas mask, protects the ears, and can be painted with whichever rude slogans or symbols you choose. Gas Masks A modern (2006) gas mask will run anywhere from $40-$100, if one can be found -- they're pretty hard to come by post-9/11. Which is okay, since a military style gas-mask is a great big "arrest me" sign. If you insist on having one, then buy an American or Israeli mask with Plexiglass or Lexan eye-protection. A lot of old-fashioned Soviet gas masks are available, but the eyepieces are glass, and therefore breakable -- Remember: the Revolution is all fun and games until someone loses an eye -- so try to avoid them. A good substitute to a military gas mask is an industrial respirator. These don't protect the eyes, but are useful when equipped with chemical/paint rated filters -- be sure of the filter rating, since normal filters only protect from dust and asbestos, etc. Respirators can be bought for $40-50 at most large hardware and farm-supply stores, and the filters are commonly available. Buy a good set of goggles to go with them. Remember that, during an arrest, any gas mask or respirator is going bye-bye forever. If gas masks are unavailable or too expensive, or if you're involved in an action where arrest is inevitable, you might want to fall back on the old standby: a bandanna soaked in a mix of cider vinegar and water. Get a large, good-quality bandanna (cheap dollar-store bandannas usually don't fit the bill) and soak it in a mix of 1/3 cider vinegar to 2/3 water. You can keep it damp in a ziplock bag, and tie it around your face when the gas starts flying -- it's not perfect but it's a hell of a lot better than nothing. Walkie-Talkies FRS Radio FRS radios are now available in the USA, 14 available channels means you can usually find an open channel. Do not be fooled by the privacy codes, these are not encryption, just a blocking circuit that does not activate the receiving radio sound unless the sender radio first sends the electronic activation tone. Assume all transmissions are being intercepted by the pigs. For their current low price the utility, even in hi-rise urban areas, is amazing and they are free to use unlike cellphones. Radio Tricks If you can set up a repeater network you can communicate long distances in your area just like the cops do. Handheld radios designed for business or ham radio often have a DTMF tone keypad and digital tone squelch, a radio like this combined with a revolutionary radio exchange in Free Telephones you can totally bypass the cellular phone system with your own network. Pig Radio Most cops in urban and rural areas now use 800mhz trunked radio systems, this is similar to mobile phones with radio mode. If you get your hands on a pig radio like this and they figure it out they can switch to listen mode, set it to tracking mode, and surely not allow you into any radio nets. It is best to either leave these radios alone, smash them, or if you are sneaky hit the orange distress button locking the pig out of using the radio. There are trunk following scanners but they cant be purchased in the United States as these scanners were banned by congress in the 1990's to prevent privacy invasion on the old AMPS cellular network. Other Equipment For those considering investing in Kevlar body armor, note that while it is legal for civilians to own in the USA (for now), using it "in the process of a criminal act" is a Felony. Also remember that while Kevlar will stop MOST handgun bullets, it won't stop them all, nor will it block the massive force that the rounds will hit you with. The best vest won't stop a determined murderer; be ready to maneuver, get some cover and concealment, and return fire eliminating the threat. If you can't afford Kevlar a few inches of dry newspaper will stop or at least slow most handgun bullets, knives, and shrapnel. A soft body battery powered RC airplane with a wireless camera that has an extended antenna or boosted transmit is a great way to get some recon on the pigs at a demonstration. Paint the plane grey and look for a model with a quiet propeller and the pigies might never even notice it. All you need is the toy airplane, a camera, and a pocket TV receiver. It might be useful to stick the 'pilot' in a tree along someone watching the video and helping guide the pilot, the video can be received by demonstration leaders to plot direction if they need a breakthrough. First Aid Carry the following gear in a compartmented bag with the following list at all demonstrations and posted with activists in safe houses. (this may need to be moved) Do not use a tourniquet unless there is a severed limb and no other choice, the vascular damage will often make limb reattachment surgery unsuccessful. Learn arterial pressure points (where you feel pulses inside the arm near armpit in in the inner leg) instead and save a limb. • • • roller gauze - for holding down bandages !never roll on tight! 4x4 Gauze - for absorbing blood and bandaging wounds Triangle bandage/sling - for slings to protect broken arms and wrists and to sling and swath an arm against broken ribs Cardboard - for making arm splints, use with sling • • • • adhesive bandages - Hello..... Military Dressing - Gunshot/Stabbing Foil/Plastic from Military Dressing - Seal sucking chest wound from stabbing/gunshot, open regularly to allow air to escape then replace Adhesive Medical Tape - place gauze for smaller injuries or eye injuries never wrap all the way around a limb Gel Burn Dressing - For Burns Paramedic Scissors Butterfly dressings - Temporary stitches on minor lacerations until you get to the hospital or underground doc Saline Eye Wash - Teargas and other eye contamination Triple Antibiotic Ointment - Prevent infection for minor shallow abrasions and lacerations • • • • • • If you know a doctor, dentist, veterinarian, paramedic, nurse, PA, or other person that can use it suturing equipment, IV sets and bags, and other serious medical gear for real emergencies could save a life if prepositioned in a safe house. Edited Original OTHER EQUIPMENT A sign can be used to ward off blows. Staple it to a good strong pole that you can use as a weapon if need be. Ideally you should visit the proposed site of the demonstration before it actually takes place. This way you'll have an idea of the terrain and the type of containment the police will be using. Someone in your group should mimeograph a map of the immediate vicinity which each person should carry. Alternative actions and a rendezvous point should be worked out. Everyone should have two numbers written on their arm, a coordination center number and the number of a local lawyer or legal defense committee. You should not take your personal phone books to demonstrations. If you get busted, pigs can get mighty Nosy when it comes to phone books. Any sharp objects can be construed as weapons. Women should not wear earrings or other jewelry and should tie their hair up to tuck it under a helmet. Wear a belt that you can use as a tourniquet. False teeth and contact lenses should be left at home if possible. You can choke on false teeth if you receive a sharp blow while running. Contact lenses can complicate eye damage if gas or Mace is used. Caching One of the side affects to the impending demise of the Amerikan empire will be shortages, many empires have been known to use food shortages to force their will on the commoners in exchange for daily bread (Do a web search on "Biafra" to see what kind of horror this entails). Caching our vital supplies is an important part of bringing down the pig empire. It is also a good idea to disperse a few sets of travel or wilderness gear and a way to get around like a bicycle or cross country skis. Food Caching The Mormons, besides being a little square, have one radical idea; storing food for a rainy day. A storm is brewing and we want to eat too, so here are some things that pack and store well, some of them even come from our own victory gardens. • • MRE Meals (medium-long life) Canned Foods (short-medium life) • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Coffee (short-medium life) Dried Beans and Corn (medium-long life) Dry Fruit and Raisins (short-medium life) Dry Milk (medium life) Flour - Preferably Whole Wheat (short life) Honey (long life, will keep indefinitely if kept sealed and cool) Hot Chocolate Mix (short-medium life) Instant Mash Potatoes (short-medium life) Oatmeal (medium life) Olive Oil in bottles or jugs (medium life) Oven Dried Meat Jerky (short life) Pasta (medium-long life) Rice (medium-long life) Salt & Spices (medium-long life) Sugar (long life) Tea (medium-long life) Vegetable Shortening in cans (long life) Vinegar (long life) Whole Kernel Wheat (long life) Whole Nuts (medium-long life) Wine (stored with corks down), Hard Liquor/Spirits (long life) All shelf life estimates assume a cool dry and sealed environment short life=1-2 years, medium life=2-5 years, long life=10 or more years Most of these foods can either be grown or bought in large containers, the bulk foods section can often order 50lb sacks or 5gal buckets of these foods. Get some clean buckets made from foodgrade plastic with good undamaged seals. Drop a block of dry ice into the bucket and then fill with your food, loosely place the lid, after 30 minutes seal the bucket. This eliminates almost all of the nutrient damaging oxygen and safely kills any bugs without poisoning the food. If a can is bulging at the top and/or bottom, there is a very good chance the food inside is not safe to eat. Only use long life foods for buried storage. Rotate through storage foods using oldest first in your normal diet, try not to store foods you would not normally eat. (Helpful mnemonic: "Eat what you store, and store what you eat.") Try to store some treats like chocolate or hard candy in your stash; If times are rough, unpalatable foods might not be eaten by picky eaters and people have been known to starve this way. MRE's If you know of a military surplus store, a good Army quartermaster, or if you're simply eBay savvy, try to grab some MRE's (Military abbreviation for "Meals, Ready to Eat"). An MRE is sealed in a thick plastic pouch and contains an entree (they come in both meat and non-meat versions), a side dish and dessert (often a cookie or dried fruit), crackers or bread and a spread (usually peanut butter, jelly or cheese flavored spread), a beverage powder to mix with water, and an "accessory pack" containing chewing gum, a moistened towelette, a matchbook, packets of salt and sugar, either a fork or a spoon, a tea bag or a packet of instant coffee (which will come with a packet of creamer), and a small pack of toilet paper. Some even come with a "Heater Pouch" that is a plastic sleeve you put your sealed meal in and add water to activate the magnesium in it to heat the water, giving you a hot meal (Yum!). (The MRE heaters are a source of hydrogen if you want to make a floating weather balloon UFO from a big trash bag.) One MRE contains around 2-3,000 calories, which is about what you need for a light walking stroll all day. If you're doing hill/mountain climbing, 1 1/2 to 2 should suffice, MRE's are known to cause constipation and and stomach upset in some so drink lots of water, eat enough fiber, and carry baking soda to stop the gut burn. A few MRE's make a great caches to pre-stash along a possible evacuation route. A number of companies that make MRE's for the Military or other Government operations (Ameriqual, International Meals Supply, Sopakco, Wornick) also make knock-off versions for civilian sales. They're the ones with the brand names on them (aPack, Eversafe, MREStar, SurePak) or sealed in clear plastic, and the ones you'll probably find in camping or Army Surplus stores. You can read more info about civilian MRE's at A trick in the field is to cut the pouch of the food open lengthwise so you can eat out of it like a bowl. The food is often more filling than flavorful, so if you feel like it, bring a long a few small packages of spices to perk up your meals. You can tell how old a Government issue MRE or MRE component is by looking for a four digit code on the package. The first digit is the last digit of the year, and the next three is the day of the year it was packaged. So, an MRE with the code "5314" was packaged in the year 2005 (or 1995?) on November 10th (the 314th day). The shelf life of an MRE depends on what temperature it was stored at. If it was kept at 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it will stay safe for about 5 years. At 60 degrees, it can stay safe for 10 years. Don't feel like you're supporting the Amerikan Department of Destruction by purchasing these; most were probably stolen anyway, particularly the ones you might find at the gun shows. If they say "U.S. GOVERNMENT, COMMERCIAL RESALE IS UNLAWFUL" on the package, they're the real thing. But if the four digit code is missing, it's probably been wiped off and the meal may be too old to eat. The US also produces a MRE style humanitarian relief meal which is vegetarian. Gun Cache A firearm must be prepared before caching it in the ground, a grease gun can be used to fill the cleaned dry barrel and goop up the internal mechanical parts, the outside is also coated in grease and then the whole gun is wrapped in paper then plastic sacked so the grease is sealed in. The protected firearm is placed into a PVC Heavy duty pipe with one pipe cap already cemented on and sealed, a large silica gel moisture absorber which has been baked at 200Degrees for two hours is a good idea to add. Place a plastic bag or newspaper wad into the tube to keep the gun from sliding up the the end that the second pipe cap is at. cement on with plenty of PVC cement, after everything is sealed paint the end cap that is safe to saw off. Ammunition must be cached separately from your greased up weapon, grease and oil are well known to kill primers leading to dud rounds. It is a good idea to bury ammo, a gear vest, some good boots, and a little food next to your rifle so you will be ready for action if it gets so bad. Bicycles Our favorite mode of transportation is the bicycle, when times get tougher these will be in great demand. Plan to have several reserve bikes bought at thrift store prices for when everyone wants one. For caching purposes the hardware can be removed and stored in grease or oil or spares can be purchased. The following are especially sensitive to the elements: • chain • • • • • cables and cable tubes sprockets tires inner tubes springs If possible store the bicycles in a heated dry room, garages in anywhere but the driest areas will rust a bicycle in a few years. Bicycles kept outdoors should have all hardware, tires, and inner tubes removed and placed into a waterproof bucket with silica gel packets, plan several hours to reassemble such a prepared bicycle. Clean well and spray all exposed steel parts remaining like the sprockets with a heavy marine spray grease. Marking a cache If you are caching your things outside you will need a way to find the treasure, be careful to bury in a place that they are unlikely to excavate, plough, or build on or you will loose your cache. A piece of aluminum can with hints impressed onto it and nailed to the upper side of a branch on a prominent tree or landmark is hard to see from the ground and will last for years, painting the badge black or green makes it harder for a hiker to find it by chance but also for you to find. To help you find your cache lay a medium sized rock over the final burial site in case the area gets overgrown. Don't place all of your trust that GPS will help you find a cache, in the future it may be switched to another system. Be cautious that you are not observed while placing your cache or you may find it missing when you need it. Infiltrating Intro With the proper disguise a person can openly walk into most low to medium security buildings. The most important trick to daylight infiltration is to look like you know where you're going. People are less likely to stop someone if they look busy or in a hurry. A second trick is to look as if you belong. It sounds easy but it can be harder than it looks. For example, everyone is comfortable with the UPS man, so coming in with a dolly full of boxes is to be expected if you have the uniform. A soft drink stocker is expected to have a dolly full of pop cans. Nobody needs to know that they are empty and are only at the surface. Disguise Perhaps the easiest disguise for a larger building is a pizza delivery man. After a little persistent search on eBay, a hat and polo shirt/t-shirt with a big pizza company's logo on it can be picked up second-hand for about $15. Whatever car you have should have a pizza "light" mounted on the top...which is basically a magnetically-attached light that plugs into your cancerette lighter socket. You can simply get one of these by ordering a pizza, and when the delivery guy comes with the pizza, have a fellow brother/sister swipe the light while the transaction takes place. Quite often you can get through a building without second-glance by simply dressing up a bit. Very few people will ask questions to a man with a decent-looking business suit on. After all, would you want to be the piss ant worker who asks the VP of Ass-kissing for your company what he's doing there? If a building requires an ID inspection to get into a building, this is not very difficult to replicate usually. Try to get a good look at the badges by the people entering the building. Notice the actual ID and its features, then notice what most wear their ID's on (attached to a cord, on a clip, etc.). The most important thing, however, is to see how carefully the security guard inspects them. If he barely looks up from his episode of Jerry Springer to wave you in, simply flashing a baseball card at him may suffice. If he carefully inspects it for a brief moment, he's checking something specific (usually picture or expiration date). Business Dress An important tool for a revolutionary fighter is a nice set or two of business clothing. By wearing the ceremonial costume of CorpGov you will become almost invisible to many police, security, and other enforcement bodies who are expecting to see pierced, dreadlocked punks. Wearing clothing of this type will allow you entry into most offices and banks unhindered. With some planning you can claim to have business with a manager, sometimes the security desk will even have access to the building directory and help you find the office you want. Once you arrive if protest is what you like do a Clark Kent and rip off those ties and coats to reveal t-shirts with your slogan. If you tell a nobrand thrift store you need to make a job interview they might give you a discount on this type of clothing, but often a department store with an old guy as a salesman is a better choice for your monkey suit as sloppiness in dress and hair is a giveaway that you really don't fit in the starched CorpGov environment. Although the best method is to observe actual employees of the targeted company, here's a good rule to go by: in 21st century United States most higher-ups will be seen wearing a quality matched wool suit coat and trousers, white shirt, conservative tie, dress black shoes and well trimmed hair. Female Manager types will also be seen in a wool tailored skirt and matching jacket, makeup, medium heels or flats, and styled hair. Even in high tech where lax dress is the rule, tech managers might get away with more casual, but the creepy biz-school types still go for the suit. Creepy means nobody bothers you. For impersonating your average wage slave, wear a quality set of trousers, belt, dress shoes, and nice, button-down, tucked-in (VERY IMPORTANT) dress shirt, and tie. Many men these days have their hair cut short (reduces "anti-hippie" profiling). Accessorize 1) Cell Phone Most people have a cell phone close at hand. One way to fake the cell phone is to get a holder/case and a plastic dummy. With the right holder, no one will be able to tell the difference. For men, attach this on your belt. For women, the cell phone is less important as many women carry it in their purse or pocket (our of sight). Thus, the charade is unneeded. What is special about the cell phone is it creates an impenetrable "don't bother me" bubble and social norms cause most people to respect this. Use this magic "don't bother me" effect to your advantage. 2) Briefcase Briefcases are an expected accessory for medium lever executive types. Often there is now a cursory search of briefcases and purses when entering office buildings. If you can slip your secret stuff into the walls, false bottom, or folders inside you are likely to get in with no problems unless there is an x-ray scanner which is very rare. The more important the exec the smaller the briefcase is, but assistants may have a huge support load to carry for their boss. Behavior To look like you you belong, you must feel like you belong. Copy the busy slave brisk walk, watch how the monkeys walk and move, a few days of study will be valuable. If you give off a sense of authority, suspicious people will often stay away to prevent being questioned by the bigwig from corporate. It can be useful to have a well dressed accomplice who you give orders to, like a mobile secretary or assistant-type taking notes and such. It is just fine to ask questions of employees how a system or program works. Ask them to demonstrate; most users will even turn over their login password so they can show you a login. Remember: you are a corporate bigwig; why shouldn't they let the VP of auditing see all of this inside information? Let a kissup who wants a promotion lead you around or show you the vital areas. He can be your cover. Confidence, coolness, and a bit of arrogance will get you a long way. Keep moving and everyone will think you are passing through and you know where you are going. If you pause as if lost or make a worried eye contact, the questions and suspicions will begin. Look on the directory outside and know a few manager names to drop as a last ditch dodge if people start asking questions. You will likely get one shot at infiltration, so make it count. People might talk around the water cooler and might figure out there is no VP of Auditing after your visit. There is little chance of an employee admitting that he was the dolt who gave you a login or password, so even if there is a security audit later on, all may not be lost. Due to continuing enforcement of 1970's-era "30 day" password rules and rules requiring random letters and numbers in a password at many companies, you can usually get most of the login information you need from a reminder note in the desk drawer, cubicle wall, or a post-it note stuck to the monitor. If you are setting up a snoop, secret server, or other device, waltz right in and set it up -- unless it is very suspicious you should have no problem. A regular empty tower computer case is a great toolbox, you can sneak all kinds of things in hidden inside. Insider Help Unhappy Workers Remember, the low payed janitors, handymen, cafeteria workers, and what not are looked down on and paid little (usually minimum wage), while the bosses earn thousands. They will probably help you out for a small price or as a way to "get back" at their employers. Keep your eyes open for higher-ups that are overly nasty to their employees. Many employees with unnecessarily mean supervisors would gladly look the other way if you wanted to sneak into an office to look at files, get keys, etc. If you troll the pubs near the business you can often lift a pass key/card from an employee. Sadly many office workers are very lonely, some attention from an interested party can often get amazing results that years of hacking would fail at. "Accidentally" meet up with your mark if they like to frequent a bar and lift what you need once they are full of liquor. Security Systems You will need good information on the security in the place you wish to infiltrate. Know where cameras and sensors are located, and how sensitive they are, play with the sensors and see what lights the indicators during a daytime visit if possible. An insider might know if the security system is tied into door locks and if there are any alternate escapes. If you do screw up and set off the alarm then go to S.E.R.E. mode. Cameras The crude way to disable a camera is to zap it with a few paintballs or spraypaint, this makes it clear that tampering has happened when the donut boys make their rounds and the loudness of most paintball guns. With the availability of cheap lasers a more sophisticated attack can be made. Tape the switch down on the laser and aim into the camera lens as you are coming around the corner, use a dental mirror to help you see around, this will almost always wash out any image on the camera, since you have work to do laser-dazzle the hands free way, stick the laser high up on the wall with modeling clay(remember clay takes fingerprint impressions). All that this will do is wash out the image on the camera, if you aim is good and the guard is stupid he might not notice the laser is shining into the camera when he checks things out. If you tie string through the clay you can yank your laser around a corner after you get past. Making a laser dazzler from a green laser pointer or scavenged blue-ray DVD burner laser module or even a regular DVD burner has a better chance of blotting out the whole camera image and possibly even burning out a camera without any obvious outside damage. It might do to wear laser goggles or at least use wrap around sunglasses with laser resistant film taped inside (get at a science supply store or university physics lab, know the frequency of the laser you are using) since these are powerful lasers. Motion and Infrared Sensors • Motion sensors emit a sound or microwave emission and if there is a Doppler change in the returned microwaves or sound the sensor will alert, many sensors will blink a light if this happens and not trip the alarm right away. If you move very slowly you should be able to get past the motion sensor. Some motion sensors if blocked with a piece of wood(sound) or aluminum foil(microwave) they will alarm. Most sensors have an advertised sensitivity cone of 90 degrees. Infrared sensors detect a sudden change in the ambient infrared signature of the room, if you can slowly reveal yourself or cover your infrared with a piece of furniture so that the little detect light is not indicating you have probably made it in. Covering the alarm may set off an alarm since this will cause a sudden change in detected infrared energy. Better to slowly move a desk or couch in between your movement path and the sensor. • Alarm Line If you can simply disable the alarm connection line (some dial on a normal phone line some have a dedicated alarm line) this might be the best option, be sure to put a resistive load back onto the line (have a multimeter and selection of resistors handy), a cut alarm line will always indicate a fault and security or police will usually be called. Once the line has been disabled you will likely still have to contend with loud sirens on site if you trip the system. Be wary a few alarms use a wireless transmission to the security booth or alarm company. Do not assume a power outage will knock out the alarm, most have batteries. Hostile Situations Your best escape is knowing where to run, once trapped you might be forced to fight making your legal situation much worse should you be arrested. For more good escape info see S.E.R.E. Planning Remember, no matter how perfect and planned your operation is, there will always be several factors to give you away, which you must be prepared for in advance. If possible, find as many plans of the building you are to infiltrate in advance, and study them - make sure these plans are as up-to-date as possible. Mark all entrances and exits, rooms you will be targeting, and possible areas of importance to both yourself and staff. You will need to memorize the entire building layout failing this, at least make sure you can remember the way to at least three escape routes at all times. Weapons Seriously consider the cost/benefit ratio of when choosing to bring a weapon it could move a misdemeanor breaking and entering charge to a serious assault or weapons felony even with less than lethal devices. A great device for emergency exits is the small fire extinguisher turned pepper spray blaster in Weapons for Street Fighting, it should clear out a floor or two even in a large building. Of course, you will need a gas mask or respirator and goggles in your bag to use it effectively. Briefcase Briefcases should really be used on every infiltration, because the uses of the items stored inside outweigh the risks. Wait outside the building you are targeting when staff are leaving - check out the size and shape of the briefcases they are using, so you will be able to blend in even more. Now, here comes the most interesting part - packing your briefcase. Keep it light, but don't leave out any of the essentials. Take a plan of the building, a balaclava (other methods of covering your face, as masks, helmets etc. are difficult to conceal in a briefcase), and a paintball marker and around fifty paint balls - these can be used to temporarily "blind" CCTV cameras, but you will need to practice well to hit your target. After these items, the contents of your briefcase will vary depending on the style of your mission. (In some jurisdictions a paintball gun/marker may be considered carrying a weapon in commission of a crime, also remember they are loud.) Escape If you have been discovered, you will need to get out - fast. The quickest way to clear an entire building is to activate the fire alarms, either by holding a lighter to a smoke detector, or smashing an alarm, then just slip into the nearest crowd and walk out. This method will attract a lot of attention when a fire is not discovered anywhere - however, by then you can be far away, with ease. For a less dramatic exit, simply head to any of the three possible exits you memorized earlier, and slip out when nobody is watching you. Claiming you are going for a cigarette is a great excuse, and nobody will notice your failure to return before at least five minutes have passed. If you cannot have a getaway car and driver of your own running outside, notify a brother or sister in advance, so that upon receiving a phone call from you they can arrive outside of the building and collect you. If timed well, this particular method of escape can be pretty effective - you can usually escape a long time before your actions are discovered, and even longer before the pigs arrive. If you are are discovered and trapped, your only other options apart from surrendering can become life-threatening. While dangerous, heading for the roof will help you get extra time, and can also get you a better view to consider your options. If there are any nearby buildings, and you have packed rope and a grappling hook, you could attempt to use the rope as a zipline to get across; however, this is hard enough in a group, and by yourself this would be extremely hard to pull off. This technique requires about thirty pounds of specialized rope gear and lots of training. Rope rescue and technical climbing training is very useful in many unexpected spider man type intrusion techniques. Another much less risky method of escaping using rope is to tie one end of the rope to something extremely secure at the top of the building, and abseil down the building. Remember the rope is your life at this moment, and you are taking a calculated risk if you don't use the correct safety equipment, but there isn't always time. For this method to work, you are probably going to need to create a distraction of some sort (e.g. letting off a very large smoke device or having friends chuck a few pepper gas grenades near the cops to tear their eyes up) and immediately begin to run when you hit the ground. If you need to abseil, leave the rest of your equipment behind. When planning for a roof abseil/rappel escape at a minimum wear a self rescue belt(look in a rope rescue catalog), a descent device of your choice, and some 5mm Spectra cord at least ten meters longer than the building. Look for an anchor that will take at least a ton of pull use a loop at least a meter in length and tie a figure-eight follow through knot. Use your jacket or other thick clothing as edge protection anywhere the rope hits concrete, army surplus fire hose is the best edge guard but heavy. Don't ever use hardware store rope, it might just break when you are on it, it is completely unsafe for life safety usage, we will only buy and use UIAA certified climbing ropes that we have carefully inspected for cuts and dents. Depending on the height of the building you are in, and how close the surrounding buildings are, you can attempt a runn